CRIMEA REFERENDUM: HCBA asks India to fulfill international obligation

SRINAGAR: Asking New Delhi to fulfill its obligations under international law by giving people of Kashmir the right to self-determination, Kashmir High Bar Association (HCBA) Wednesday said that Crimea achieved freedom from Ukraine under the same right which New Delhi was denying to Kashmir.
In a statement, the HCBA general secretary said that the lawyers’ body, in a meeting held on Wednesday with its president advocate Mian Abdul Qayoom in chair, observed that “the UN Resolutions which guarantee the right of self-determination to the people of Kashmir are the bedrock of their struggle and the farcical elections held in the state of Jammu and Kashmir during the past 50 years can never be a substitute to that right of self-determination.”
“The people of Crimea have succeeded in achieving their freedom only in furtherance of this right which, however, has been denied to the people of Kashmir by sheer force and subjugation,” the meeting observed.
While citing the referendum of the people of Crimea, the statement said that despite pressure from USA and other European countries, the people of Crimea ultimately succeeded in achieving their freedom and in constituting itself in an independent country.
“The freedom struggle of the people of Kashmir which is a genuine and legitimate one is bound to succeed and cannot be crushed through any military might or any kind of serious oppression,” it added.
The statement said that right to self-determination was guaranteed to people in international law under Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as also in International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which state that “every human being is born free and is equal in dignity and status.”
The statement further added: “In terms of these International Covenants no human being can be held in slavery or servitude and that all people have the right of self-determination and by virtue of that right, they are entitled to freely determine their political status and pursue their economic, social, cultural development and growth.”
“Holding farcical elections in the state of J&K during the past 50 years in violation of the UN Resolutions, tantamount to the defying of the decision of the UN Security Council which warrants an appropriate action against India,” the statement said.
The lawyers’ body impressed upon New Delhi “to show obedience to the international verdict and fulfill the promise and obligation cast by International Covenants on it by giving the people of J&K their right of self-determination for choosing their future as early as possible as has been done in Crimea.”