By Kalbe Ali
"There is no such thing as a Palestinian people… It is not as if we came and threw them out and took their country. They didn't exist." Golda Meir, statement to The Sunday Times, 15 June, 1969, soon after becoming the prime minister of Israel. Golda Meir also known as the ‘Iron Lady’ of Israeli politics, was elected Prime Minister of Israel on March 17, 1969, after serving as Minister of Labour and Foreign Minister. She was Israel's first and the world's third woman to hold the office of prime minister.
Another prime minister of Israel Menachem Begin who like Golda Meir belonged to the generation who had played a key role in creating Israel said "[The Palestinians] are beasts walking on two legs."
These insulting remarks were made by the Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, in a speech to the Knesset, (Israeli parliament) in June 25, 1982. With all this mindset and the government of Israel sat down to negotiate with the Palestinians in 1990- and that too after the first Gulf War when the US had became sole super power of the world. The Palestinian issue along with the Kashmir dispute are two of the most serious challenge faced by the Muslim world, and if we talk of Israel first.
The leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Yasser Arafat has been considered a long time enemy and always branded as a terrorist by Israel he was acknowledged as a leader, in 1993. Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin, Israeli PM, signed an Accord for moving ahead for establishing a separate state for the Palestinians in September 13, 1993 at a Washington ceremony hosted by US President Bill Clinton.
The conditions from 1969 to 1993 forced Israel to change its stance by 180 degree, similarly now India despite all effort has failed to contain the Kashmir issue as a lost case. It has to be acknowledged that the fate of nations is not necessarily decided within a period of decades and the struggle for resolution of issues including attaining the rights can even linger for generations.
February 5 the day of solidarity with Kashmiris being observed on Sunday, if not much will achieve done thing.
Almost every newspaper reading person will know that there is something in Kashmir – this too is a success against the Indian efforts over decades telling the world and its own people that Kashmir is part of India.
The Kashmir dispute also a reminder for more than one billion residents of South Asia that right causes cannot be put away in files to ort under the dust. The main issue impeding the real growth and prosperity in South Asia is the Kashmir dispute which relates with three parties – Pakistan, India and the Kashmiris themselves. As long as this issue is not resolved there cannot be cordial relations between among all the counties of the South Asia mainly due to political tension arising out of mistrust. Just another look at history to signify the importance of February 5, one can understand that there is nothing like smooth sailing for India too.
The world has seen that Britain had to acknowledge the rights of Ireland and Scotland in late middle ages and among the most influential states – Israel had to yield in wake of strong resistance at the hands of people who were barely surviving under the suppressive policies.
The importance of February 5 is – On 1 January 1948, India formally referred the case of Pakistani aggression in Kashmir to the United Nations Security Council under Article 35 of the UN Charter.
On 5 February 1948, the UN resolution interalia called for an immediate ceasefire and a plebiscite to decide the future of the state.
On 13 August 1948, the UN adopted another resolution interalia calling for (1) a ceasefire, (2) Pakistan to withdraw the tribals and to put its troops under the command of local civilian authorities, (3) India to withdraw bulk of its troops, (4) the UN observers to supervise the ceasefire and (5) the holding of the plebiscite.
The resolution was followed up on 11 December 1948 with the appointment of a plebiscite administrator, and on 5 January, 1949, the two earlier resolutions were amalgamated into a single resolution that reiterated the earlier proposals.
The day February 5 calls upon the world body and the regional powers that millions of Kashmiris were still waiting for UN plebiscite administrators to complete their job.
The vast majority of those who are observing Solidarity Day with Kashmir this year were born in post independence era and majority of Kashmiris did not even witness the atrocities faced by the masses at the hands of Dogra forces prior to independence, but still the message continues.
The Kashmir issue is alive even after 64 years and the history of other nations who have faced oppression at the hand of larger and stronger government than India – is a food for thought that Kashmir issue cannot left unattended for long.