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Jugal Kishore More asked: What are the salient features of the resolution passed by the UNSC on Kashmir issue in August 1948?

Abdul Hameed Khan replies: The Government of India on January 01, 1948 lodged a complaint with the UNSC under Article 35 of Chapter VI of the UN Charter against Pakistan, charging it with aiding, abetting and participating in the tribal invasion of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), which was part of India. Acting on the complaint, UNSC adopted Resolution 47 on April 21, 1948. Salient features of the resolution were:

  1. Increasing the size of the UN Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) on resolution of J&K issue between India and Pakistan (resolution39) from three to five.
  2. Instructed the Commission to travel to the Indian Subcontinent and assist the governments of India and Pakistan with a view to facilitate taking of necessary measures both with respect to the restoration of peace and order and to holding of a plebiscite.
  3. Instructed the Commission to recommend to the governments of India and Pakistan measures as it felt appropriate to bring about a cessation to the ongoing fighting and to create proper conditions for a free and impartial plebiscite to decide whether the State of J&K was to accede to India or Pakistan. It asked (a) Pakistan to secure withdrawal from the State of J&K of all tribesmen and Pakistani nationals who were non-residents of the State. (b) India, after it was established that the tribesmen were withdrawing and that the arrangements for the cessation of the fighting had become effective, to put into operation withdrawal of its own forces from J&K and reduce them progressively to the minimum strength required for the support of the civil power in the maintenance of the law and order. (c) When the Indian forces had been reduced to minimum, a Plebiscite Administration is to be established to hold a plebiscite as soon as possible.
  4. Laid out measures to ensure minimum interference of forces of any kind and maximum participation of the subjects of entire State of J&K, including returned refugees and released political prisoners, irrespective of their caste, creed or political affinity in the plebiscite.

Another resolution was passed on June 03, 1948, which reaffirmed all the previous resolutions passed by the UNSC (38, 39 and 47) and directed the UNCIP to proceed to the areas of conflict without delay.

The UNCIP did reach the Indian Subcontinent in July 1948 and urged both countries to follow the UNSC resolutions. Both the countries agreed upon the ceasefire plan and allowed UNCIP to monitor the ceasefire along the agreed ceasefire line (CFL), with effect from January 01, 1949. But, for the plebiscite to take place, Pakistan never fulfilled the first condition set by the UNSC resolution given at 3(a) above, leading to non-implementation of the rest of the resolution.

These UNSC resolutions were passed under Chapter VI (Articles 33 to 38) of the UN Charter which deals with pacific settlement of disputes. It is non-binding and advisory in nature, thus limiting the scope of any enforcement or military intervention on behalf of the UN.

After the 1971 War, India and Pakistan entered into a bilateral agreement by way of Shimla Accord of 1972, which negated the role of any third party intervention in matters of India-Pakistan relations, thereby nullifying the UNSC resolutions.

After 1972, the CFL between India and Pakistan became the Line of Control (LoC) and is held as such till date.

Posted on August 24, 2016

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