The Nagorno-Karabakh and Kashmir are the human tragedies of modern times. Both are looming threats to South Caucasus and South East Asia and beyond. Successive leaders and people of brotherly countries have been striving hard to resolve Nagorno-Karabakh and Kashmir conflicts with Armenia and India but still a substantial resolution is a far cry. Rise of complicated regional proxies and dirty global power politics has worsened human survival in both the illegally occupied areas.
Azerbaijan and Pakistan has had been trying their best to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh and Kashmir conflicts within the true spirits of international law, resolutions of the UN, rule of sovereignty, respect of human rights and the last but not the least, mutual respect, showing their strong political commitments to do something meaningful for the suffering people of occupied areas under Armenia and Indian illegal occupation for so many years.
Right from the beginning, the governments of Azerbaijan and Pakistan took principle stances that “Nagorno-Karabakh and Kashmir are integral part of them. Khojaly genocide was the byproduct/strategic extension of Armenia’s aggression, brutality and state sponsored terrorism against innocent and helpless people of Azerbaijan. On February 26, 1992, Armenia committed a war crime, killing more than 613 peaceful residents of Khojaly, among them 106 women and 63 children.
Most recently, India’s government scarping of article 370 & 35(A) has completely changed status of occupied Kashmir. Daily lives of people have been ruined because of continued curfew for the last 45 days. Access to information, internet and other world has been denied in the valley of beauty. Even schools, colleges, universities and hospitals have been shut down for the last 45 days. People have been living a cage. Amnesty Watch (2019) has issued warning of an imminent “human genocide” in occupied Kashmir. Latest debate in European Parliament has shared that more than 100,000 people have been killed by Indian forces for the last 70 years.
The Khojaly massacre is one of the most heinous and bloodiest events of the 20th century. It is still a black spot on the collective human conscious of the region and the globe as well. It is an act of barbarism and discrimination. The town of Khojaly came under intensive fire from the town of Khankendi and Askeran already occupied by Armenian armed forces February 25, 1992. According to an official report, 613 civilians were killed, including 106 women, 70 elderly and83 children, and a total of 1,000 civilians were disabled. Moreover, 1,275 innocent people were taken hostage. In case of occupied Kashmir sever ethnic cleansing is going on and so called civilized world is still docile and dormant.
Right of Azerbaijan on Nagorno-Karabakh territories is even recognized by the United Nations Security Council which adopted four resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 condemning the use of force against Azerbaijan and the occupation of its territories in 1993. It reaffirmed respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, reconfirmed that the Nagorno-Karabakh region is an integral part of Azerbaijan and demanded the immediate, full and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces from all the occupied territories.
On the other hand various resolutions of the UN stand for bilateral negotiations and amicable resolutions between India and Pakistan but Indian recent unilateral act has bulldozed basic essence of international law. UN Resolution No. 47 of 1948 provided that the “United Nations would conduct a free and impartial plebiscite” in the disputed territory. Most recent India’s action in altering the status quo of Jammu & Kashmir has implications which go beyond the illegal brutality of the act itself. It is a unilateral abrogation of the Shimla Agreement of 1972 and the Lahore Declaration of 1999.
The government of Azerbaijan demands withdrawal of the occupying forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan has still not been implemented, and the mediation efforts conducted for the last 20 years within the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have also yet not yield results. The OIC recognizes Nagorno-Karabakh as integral part of Azerbaijan. NAM respects Azerbaijan’s non-violence persuasion to liberate Nagorno-Karabakh. OSCE confirms Azerbaijan’s principal stance on Nagorno-Karabakh. National Assembly as well as Senate of Pakistan unanimously condemns Armenia policy of occupation.
The government of Pakistan has been raising the issue on several international platforms. Prime Minister Imran Khan has been very vocal about the situation in Kashmir. He briefed many world leaders and showcased the real face of the RSS and termed it a potential danger to South Asia. RSS inspired from the fascist regime of German Nazis which should be taken seriously by the world powers, he added. He feared that RSS doctrine may start a potential nuclear war in the region.
Armenia violates not only the principles of territorial integrity of another state, but also a number of conventions and resolutions, which prohibit the destruction of movable and immovable property of the occupied lands. Since the beginning of the Armenia’s occupational policy against Azerbaijan, 20% of the territory of Azerbaijan, including the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions, are under the control of the Armenian armed forces.
The richest minerals of Azerbaijan, including five gold deposits, remained in the occupied territories. For example, in the Kelbajar region of Azerbaijan, there is an exploited gold deposit, which is currently used by Armenians as a source of profit. There is an illegal looting of minerals, deposits of precious stones, which are then transferred to Armenia.
In recent years, environmental indicators in the occupied areas and in the front-line villages have significantly worsened, if not exacerbated. Constant shelling of nearby villages, arson of the fields and blockage of water supply from the Sarsang water reservoir located on the Terter River in the north part of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, provoked an ecological catastrophe, the scale of which only increases day by day. Life has become a dragon in the near-by villages on the Line of Control in Kashmir because of heavy shelling of the Indian troops.
Governments of Armenia and India have been holding so called elections or referendum in the occupied areas of Karabakh and Kashmir in the past but majority of the people have strongly rejected it. Most recently, Armenian government for the first time allocated funds to foreign NGOs to monitor the elections in unrecognized Karabakh. According to their results, the entire international community invariably declares its principled position regarding support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, non-recognition of the illegal regime, as well as any "elections" held by it.
Kashmir the paradise on earth has been changed into hell by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government by scarping article 370 and 35 (A). Now special status of Kashmir has been bulldozed through a presidential act endorsed by both the houses of Indian parliament.
According to original 370 & 35 (A) any change in its utility, nature, composition, definition and execution, the Union Government of India (UGI) will have to consult with state government which has now been violated and BJP government has now put RSS stamp even in Kashmir. The article allowed the state a certain amount of autonomy i.e. its own constitution, a separate flag and freedom to make laws. Foreign affairs, defence and communications will be remained the preserve of the central government.
Furthermore, Jammu and Kashmir could now make its own rules relating to permanent residency, ownership of property and fundamental rights. Kashmir will no longer have a separate constitution but will have to abide by the Indian constitution much like any other state. All Indian laws will be automatically applicable to Kashmiris, and people from outside the state will be able to buy property there.
Abrogation of the article 370 & 35(A) has opened the gates of hell to indigenous Kashmiris in terms of ownership, geography, demography, political, economic, civil and last but not the least, social association. On its part Armenia has been trying to settle migrated Armenian from Syria and other parts into illegally occupied territories of Nagorno-Karabakh which is against true spirits of international law.
Azerbaijan and Pakistan are brotherly countries which are now knotted even with grief, anger and purpose of recognition. Both countries should initiate joint efforts to liberate illegally occupied territories in the days to come.