From Crimea to Kashmir— Criminal silence is around us


By Lesia Senyshyn

My interest in political issue of Indian Kashmir (also known as Indian Administrative Kashmir—Indian Held Kashmir and Indian Occupied Kashmir) increased when news about curfew and human rights violations appeared in European mainstream media including BBC, Guardian, Mirror, AFP and Reuters. I feel that from Crimea to Kashmir— Criminal silence is around us.

In last week of September, I read news about speech of Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan in United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) where he was roughing out UN and other international bodies for their ineffectiveness over 60 plus years-old Kashmir issue.

After reading news about his speech, I intensely read text of his speech at UN website and felt that he talked with courage to contest world powers and questioned the role of United Nations to address cases of illegal occupations and aggression all over the world. Alas he should have also mention Crimea Crises.

Where the problem lies? Is it diplomatic status of aggressor which compels UNSC or other platforms to refrain from performing their due role to help aggrieved party? Or is it numbness of human race in general?

Abruptly and instantly, Russia annexed Crimea and installed sponsored occupation in eastern parts of Ukraine. The world left guessing what would be next?

Crimean Annexation was brute, unethical, illegal and against the norms of international laws. But nobody cared as according to Mr. Khan, cries of Muslims Kashmiris are unheard. Muslims or Non-Muslims—both are sailing in same boat if aggressor is powerful enough to override United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

UN charters indicates that it is the Supreme Body to address international issues and conflicts but its role during the last 70 years speaks otherwise.

UNSC resolutions about Kashmir are still waiting for plebiscite in Valley which was ordered and promised by UNSC and over 60 years have passed and UN Security Council has practically failed to execute its own resolutions. Ironically, now UN offers Pakistan to resolve Kashmir issue bilaterally—-practically shunning off responsibility from its shoulders.

Situation is almost similar if we talk again about Crimean issue.

Ukraine moved a resolution to UNSC under rule 37 of the UNSC (document S/2014/189) demanding immediate action from UNSC to stop Russia and revert back the action.

Unfortunate to say—–there was silence even before one could talk because Russia—the aggressor had Veto Power in the most Powerful Platform for addressing international conflicts—-The UNSC.

Ukraine did not stop and on December 17, 2018, moved to United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) which adopted a resolution urging the Russian Federation to withdraw its military forces from Crimea and end its temporary occupation of Ukraine’s territory without delay. However, nothing happened because UNGA resolutions are non-binding.

Ukraine again raised the issue in recently held 74th session of the UN General Assembly (September 2019) and called on Russia to stop mass violations of human rights in the territory of Crimea annexed by Russia. Again nothing happened and situation is same as it was the day after annexation of Crimea.

For more than five years, the so-called Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol remain the zone of the most egregious violations of fundamental freedoms, human right violations, violation of religious rights and the situation is complete disregard for international norms by the Russian occupation administration.

Crimean Tatars, a Muslim community is facing demographical disaster and Ukraine raised this issue in recently held Human Dimension Implementation Meeting 2019 Working Session 13 in Warsaw and informed participants that how discrimination against Christians and Tatar Muslims is being done by Russian occupied forces in Crimea.

As noted in a recent report by the UN Secretary General, efforts to find ways to ensure safe and unhindered access to Crimea through established regional and international human rights monitoring mechanisms have so far been unsuccessful.

Can I ask Mr. Secretary General who will make this attempt successful? Are you here only for passing comments but not doing any action to stop Russia? Oh I remember Russian Veto Power is there to stop you for any concrete action.

No doubt that International organizations recognized the occupation and annexation of Crimea as illegal and condemned Russia’s actions. Western countries have introduced economic sanctions. However, such actions are not enough to bring Crimea back to Motherland of Ukraine.

Will Ukrainian people wait for getting justice from world’s body for next 60 plus years as Kashmiri people are waiting for?

There is no answer of this question but a criminal silence is around us.


Lesia Senyshyn is an Independent Ukrainian Commentator having deep interest in South Asia and Central Asia. The views and opinions expressed in this article/Opinion/Comment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Dispatch News Desk (DND). Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of Dispatch News Desk.

Central Desk
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