UNSC Resolution 47 on Kashmir


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : UNSC resolution on Kashmir

Mains level : Kashmir issue

 Pakistan’s PM cried foul on the move to scrap Art. 370 terming it as illegal.
 It said that no unilateral step by the Government of India can change the disputed status, as enshrined in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.

The UNSC Resolution 47
 Pakistan referred to Resolution 47 of the UNSC that focuses on the complaint of the Government of India concerning the dispute over the State of J&K that India took to the Security Council in January 1948.
 In October 1947, following an invasion by soldiers from the Pakistan Army in  plainclothes and tribesmen, the Maharaja of Kashmir, Hari Singh sought assistance from India and signed the Instrument of Accession.
 After the first war in Kashmir (1947-1948), India approached the UN Security Council to bring the conflict in Kashmir to the notice of Security Council members.

Who were the UNSC members who oversaw the issue?
 The UN Security Council increased the size of the investigating council to include six members along with permanent members of the UNSC.
 Along with the five permanent members, China, France, UK, US & Russia, non-permanent members included Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Syria and the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

What happened at the UNSC?
 India’s position was that it was ready to hold a plebiscite, a direct vote in which an entire electorate votes on a specific proposal, to know of the people’s desire and accept the results of the vote.
 Pakistan denied its involvement in the conflict and counter-accused India.
 UNSC ordered for the conflict to cease and to create conditions for a “free and impartial plebiscite” to decide whether Jammu and Kashmir would accede to India or Pakistan.

What did the UNSC order Pakistan to do?
 The UNSC ordered that Pakistan was to withdraw its tribesmen and Pakistan nationals who had entered the State for the purpose of fighting.
 It ordered Pak to prevent future intrusions and to prevent “furnishing of material aid to those fighting in the State”.
 The UNSC also stated that it gave “full freedom to all subjects of the State, regardless of creed, caste or party, to express their views” and the freedom to vote on the issue of the accession of the State.
 It was also ordered Pakistan to cooperate with maintaining peace and order.

What did the UNSC order India to do?
 The UNSC had a more comprehensive set of orders for India.
 It said that after the Pakistani withdrawal from the State and the fighting had ceased, India was to submit a plan to the Commission for its withdrawing forces from J&K and to reduce them over a period of time to the minimum strength required for civil maintenance of law and order.

 India was ordered to appraise the Commission of the stages at which steps had been taken to reduce military presence to the minimum strength and to arrange remaining troops after consultations with the Commission.
 Among other instructions, India was ordered to agree that till the time the Plebiscite Administration found it necessary to exercise the powers of direction and supervision over the State forces and police,
 These forces would be held in areas to be agreed upon with the Plebiscite Administrator.
 It also directed India to recruit local personnel for law and order and to safeguard the rights of minorities.

How did India & Pakistan react to the UNSC Resolution 47?
 Both countries rejected Resolution 47.
 India’s contention was that the resolution ignored the military invasion by Pakistan and placing both nations on an equal diplomatic ground was a dismissal of Pakistan’s aggression.
 The Maharaja of Kashmir, Hari Singh had signed the Instrument of Accession to India.
 India also objected to the Resolution’s requirement that did not allow India to retain military presence which it believed it needed for defence.
 The Resolution’s order to form a coalition government would also put Sheikh Abdullah, the Prime Minister of the Princely State of Jammu & Kashmir, in a difficult position.
 India also believed that the powers conferred on the Plebiscite Administrator undermined the state’s sovereignty.
 India also wanted Pakistan to be excluded from the operations of the plebiscite.
 Pakistan on the other hand, objected to even the minimum presence of Indian forces in Kashmir, as allowed by the resolution.
 It also wanted an equal representation in the state government for the Muslim Conference, which was the dominant party in Pakistani-held Kashmir.
 Despite their differences with the provisions of Resolution 47, both India and Pakistan welcomed the UN Commission and agreed to work with it.

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