Connect with us

News

UKRAINE CRISIS MAY OFFER HOPE FOR KASHMIR SETTLEMENT

Seema Sengupta

Published

on

As Ukraine burns, the UN Security Council, expectedly, failed to pass a resolution demanding cessation of hostilities and immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territory, late on Friday. Adopted under the benign Chapter 6 of UN charter, which does not obligate use of force to impose legally binding sanctions, this perfunctory attempt to bring peace was of little consequence to some countries, including India, refusing to use their voting rights for protecting human lives in far-away Europe. While Russia might have heaved a sigh of relief for successfully fending off any international retribution that could have seriously dented President Vladimir Putin’s carefully crafted image of an invincible statesman, will Moscow’s de jure recognition of self-proclaimed Donbass republics reignite old sparks over demands of self-determination, based on ethno-religious aspirations of the ethnic majority? After all, the world is full of simmering discontent, with fragmentary undertone, and Russia might well have stepped on a dormant landmine of secessionist sub-nationalism, capable of engulfing not only Europe but territories across the globe – in America, Asia or even Africa. Most importantly, and worryingly perhaps, the intense urge for a subnational identity has made economic status irrelevant, as the contagiousness of this thought process is affecting relatively well-off societies too. Whether it is Brexit or the closely contested Scottish independence referendum; turmoil in Catalonia over demand for freedom from Spain or Italy’s desire to break free from the bondage of the Union in Europe, these events manifest a resurgence of subnational pride, notwithstanding a prosperous existence. Across the Atlantic Ocean, in Quebec, a swath of people nurtures the dream of freedom – from Canadian rule.  

 There is no denying that post-Cold War global geopolitics has fuelled rigid sub-nationalism induced self-determination, which dovetailed neatly with neo-colonial strategies of tactical interference in country specific issues of geopolitical and strategic importance. And such desire for a unique existence stem from a shared belief in a distinct cultural identity, which justifies the right to obtain an exclusive homeland. That precisely is the reason why people are drawing parallels between Crimea, Donbass and disputed Kashmir, thus dragging Ukraine into the South Asian geopolitical vortex. Russia’s wholehearted support for secession in Crimea and regions of eastern Ukraine   seeking independence on grounds of genocide, and its subsequent recognition of breakaway territories as sovereign entities is bound to catalyse demand for similar action in distant Kashmir. It will be difficult for Moscow to bypass the Kashmir issue now, given the UN Human Rights Council’s detailed assessment of grave violation of human dignity and rights committed by the Indian State. The first-ever UN report on Kashmir released in 2018 dedicates 33 pages on India’s alleged human rights violations in the part controlled by her. By co-opting Pakistan into his Ukraine adventure and making former rebel and Head of Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov have an entente with Prime Minister Imran Khan, Putin waded into the Kashmir issue automatically. Khan incidentally shared photo frame with the Russian President in Kremlin shortly after Moscow ordered invasion of Ukrainian territory. In fact, Ramzan’s father Akhmad Kadyrov was a legendary Chechen guerrilla who led a secessionist movement against the mighty Soviet State in the early 1990s. The Chechen insurgents sympathized with the Kashmir cause and had liaised with top Europe based Kashmiri rebels.    

 Meanwhile, Russia will be organizing global exhibitions for apprising the international community about acts of genocides in Donbass region, as part of a counter offensive to expose human rights violations in eastern Ukraine’s two liberated republics Donetsk and Luhansk. A book capturing atrocity crimes on children and elderly will be used as evidence to influence humanity and human rights defenders. Will it be possible for Putin to ignore similar repression in Kashmir, including mass-blinding from disproportionate use of force, cold-blooded killing of innocent school students by trigger happy soldiers and use of hapless civilians as human shields in counter-insurgency operations? A leading Russian foreign policy expert was understandably evasive when I asked him if we can expect a subtle shift in Moscow’s stand on Kashmir, vis-à-vis assessing the will of the Kashmiri people, particularly in the backdrop of India withdrawing the provinces’ special constitutional status in 2019? Russia provided the broadest possible autonomy to Chechnya under its Constitution, recognizing it as a sovereign republic within the Federation, with Islamic identity, and vested with property rights over land and natural resources. Putin can surely leverage his unique relations with both the Indian and Pakistani leadership to push through an imaginative solution for putting an end to the longstanding territorial dispute over Kashmir, holding the key to peace in South Asia. As the thin line between struggle for national liberation and militancy is getting blurred in modern day terrorism infested globe, sharing sovereign power to make Kashmiri people de-facto sovereign seems to be the only practical solution achievable under the current circumstances. Can Russia therefore endorse a Kashmir solution, which hinges on co-existence under a de-facto shared sovereignty umbrella and nourished by genuine devolution of power and legal recognition of Kashmiri people as the omnipotent sovereign? Hopefully, the lessons from Ukraine will compel India to accept Kashmiri exceptionalism and protect Kashmir’s unique identity from fading into oblivion.  

News

President calls for SIDS to lead with resilience and innovation

FI

Published

on

By

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has urged Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to become beacons of resilience and innovation. He made the statement in his national statement at the Plenary of the Fourth International Conference on SIDS.

President Dr. Muizzu emphasised the importance of SIDS believing in their ability to navigate developmental challenges, stating, the vulnerabilities should not be the downfall; they should be our armor and the rallying call. He proposed three key ways in which SIDS can seek support from the international community.

As such, the president stressed that the international community must lower borrowing costs and provide SIDS with access to credit enhancement measures. In addition, president called on bilateral partners to employ more creative financial solutions, such as retractable financing, to better support SIDS. The president highlighted the need for a coordinated and cooperative approach involving the United Nations (UN) system, international development organisations, and private sector financiers. He also urged SIDS to strengthen their institutions and collaborate with the private sector.

The International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) is a UN conference held every four years. President Dr. Muizzu is currently in Antigua and Barbuda for the summit, where he will deliver key remarks at several events and engage with other leaders of SIDS.

Source(s): PsmNews

Continue Reading

News

President discusses climate infrastructure funding with EIB

FI

Published

on

By

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has held discussions with Vice President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Ambroise Fayolle, on the sidelines of the Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in Antigua and Barbuda.

In their discussions, President Dr. Muizzu conveyed his deep appreciation for the EIB’s longstanding support and reiterated his administration’s commitment to further strengthening these valuable ties.

The meeting centered on exploring collaborative opportunities to fund climate-resilient infrastructure projects. President Dr. Muizzu emphasised the importance of initiatives such as seawalls, shore protection, water management systems, and renewable energy projects to effectively combat the impacts of climate change.

Concluding the meeting, both leaders exchanged insights on renewable energy, climate mitigation, and adaptation strategies, underscoring their shared dedication to addressing the pressing challenges of climate change.

Source(s): PsmNews

Continue Reading

World

WHA’s Rejection of the Proposal on Taiwan

FI

Published

on

By

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson’s Remarks on the 77th WHA’s Rejection of the Proposal on Taiwan

On May 27, the General Committee and the Plenary Session of the 77th World Health Assembly (WHA) respectively decided to reject the so-called proposal of “inviting Taiwan to participate in the WHA as an observer” submitted by certain countries. This has been the eighth year in a row that the WHA has rejected the so-called proposal concerning Taiwan. China’s position on Taiwan-related issues at the WHA is widely understood and supported by the international community. Over 100 countries explicitly expressed support for China’s position by writing to the WHO Director-General and through other means. This fully demonstrates that the one-China principle is where global opinion trends and the arc of history bends, and must not be challenged.

The Chinese central government attaches great importance to the health and well-being of our compatriots in Taiwan. Taiwan’s medical and health experts can participate in WHO technical meetings under the prerequisite that the one-China principle is upheld. Over the past year alone, medical and technical experts from China’s Taiwan region took part in WHO technical activities 21 times, which involved 24 participants, and all the applications were approved by the central government. There is an International Health Regulations Contact Point in the Taiwan region for it to promptly access and report to the WHO concerning information related to health emergencies. The Taiwan region has sufficient and unimpeded channels to participate in the technical communication and cooperation in the WHO. There is no such thing as a “gap” in global anti-epidemic efforts. Compared with a handful of countries’ political manipulation that trumpets Taiwan’s participation in the WHA, the central government’s proper arrangement and concrete actions demonstrate real meaning and sincerity for the livelihood and well-being of our compatriots in Taiwan.

Once again we would like to make it clear to the DPP authorities: the abiding commitment of the international community to the one-China principle is unshakable and the trend that China will be reunified is not to be reversed. “Taiwan independence” runs contrary to the interests of our compatriots in Taiwan, and any attempt to seek “Taiwan independence” by relying on external forces leads nowhere. Meanwhile, we urge certain countries to stop distorting and challenging UNGA Resolution 2758, stop fudging and hollowing out the one-China principle, stop politicizing health issues, and stop interfering in China’s internal affairs by exploiting the Taiwan question. Using Taiwan to contain China will only end in failure.

Source(s): Chinese Foreign Ministry

Continue Reading

Trending