Reacting to this, Pakistan said that such steps would not change the legal status of the Kashmir dispute and that it never accepted Kashmir’s accession to India. It said that as long as the Kashmir dispute is not resolved, the UN Security Council mandate remains.
In response to Pakistan’s statements, India said that it believes in moving forward than looking behind and discussing decade old issues. India clarified that the move on UNMOGIP was consistent with efforts to rationalize the UN body’s presence in India. It said that the measure was in line with India’s long-standing view that UNMOGIP has outlived its relevance.
India believes that the UN body had little significance after India and Pakistan inked the Shimla pact in 1972 on resolving the Kashmir dispute bilaterally. However, UN held that UN Security Council resolution mandates the body to monitor and observe the border and report violations of a cease-fire agreement between India and Pakistan.
UNMOGIP in India insisted that it will continue its operations in India in line with its original mandate. The body is now searching for new office to rent.
India had provided UNMOGIP a plush accommodation in New Delhi free of charge 40 years ago. The UN body also has offices in Islamabad and Muzaffarabad, the main city in the Pakistan-controlled part of Kashmir.
Pakistan’s National Assembly passed the Protection of Pakistan Bill (PPB) 2014. The PPB which permits security forces to shoot suspects on sight with the permission of a grade-15 official, will now be valid for a period of 2 years. The bill seeks to “provide for protection against waging of war against Pakistan and the prevention of acts threatening the security of Pakistan”. It will provide the law enforcement officials with extra powers.
The approval of the bill is a significant move in light of the military operation in North Waziristan, codenamed ‘Zarb-e-Azb’.
As compared to the previous PPB which stipulated that the law would be enforced in the event of ‘waging of war against Pakistan’, its amended form says, ‘waging of war or insurrection against Pakistan’. Besides, the term ‘enemy alien’ describes a person whose identity as a Pakistan national is unascertainable.
The law limits the use of force to officers of Grade-15 or above and an internal investigation by the head of the relevant law enforcement agency will be conducted in case of death through the use of force. If it is needed, all such cases will be subject to a judicial inquiry.
The remand period for an accused has been fixed at 60 days and, on reasonable basis, the government has the power to confine a detainee for 90 days at a designated internment camp.
The Joint Investigation Team will have the power to keep back a detainee’s information except from a High Court or Supreme Court. The government may not reveal a detainee’s details for security reasons. Besides, on reasonable grounds, the burden of proof lies upon an ‘enemy alien’ or militant.
The list of offences includes cyber crimes and crimes related to information technology, as well as the trespassing national boundaries illegally. Punishments under these crimes can be extended to 20 years. The PPB provides for setting up special courts consultation with the chief justices of the High Courts and decisions by the special courts can contested in the High Courts.
Global Peace Index (GPI) for year 2014 has been released by Institute for Economics and Peace in London. The GPI measured peace in 162 nations on the basis of 22 parameters. India slipped two ranks than previous year and has been positioned 143rd in the global rankings.
Some key observations from GPI 2014:
- Syria replaced Afghanistan as the world’s least peaceful country. Iceland has retained its position as the most peaceful country in the world.
- Georgia registered the largest improvement in peace, while South Sudan witnessed the sharpest decline and now ranks as the 3rd least peaceful nation.
- Comparing India with its neighbours, Nepal ranked 76, Bangladesh (98), Sri Lanka (105), Pakistan (154), Afghanistan (161) and China (108).
- From economic perspective, it cost Indian economy $ 177 billion for containing and dealing with the consequences of India’s level of violence. The cost is equivalent to 3.6% percent of GDP of India or $145 per person.
Top ten performers on GPI 2014:
Global Peace Index (GPI)
Launched in 2007, GPI intends to a measure levels of world peace. Produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), the Index uses 22 indicators, ranging from a nation’s level of military expenditure to its relations with neighboring nations and the percentage of prison population in 162 countries.
The IEP, based in Sydney (Australia) is an international and independent think tank dedicated to draw the world’s attention towards peace as a positive, achievable, and tangible measure of human well-being and development.
Vice President Hamid Ansari was presented with the book titled Warrior State: Pakistan in the Contemporary World written by T V Paul.
The book presents a broad perspective of Pakistan’s insecurity quandary using literature from sociology, history, religious studies, and international relations. In addition, it introduces the concept of geostrategic curse, an important view akin to resource curse and oil curse. The book offers potent tool for policymakers and researchers alike to understand this crucial yet disturbed country. T V Paul is James McGill Professor of International Relations in the Department of Political Science at McGill University, Montreal, Canada.