The timing and manner in which India raised the issue of the UNMOGIP [United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan] is simply appalling. So soon after completing a two-year term in the Security Council, India walked out with nothing much to show and probably thought up the idea of giving a parting kick to the UN.
Was it necessary? Was it judicious? Of course, Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s spokesman lost no time telling India off
. Indeed, India could have brought up the issue in the past two years when it was a member of the Security Council. But it didn’t.
And why it didn’t is known to us all, because, such a request would have meant opening the Kashmir file and initiating a full-fledged Security Council debate on the Kashmir issue. Notwithstanding the “defining partnership of the 21st century’ with India, there is no guarantee that the United States would concur with the closing of the Kashmir file.
The plain truth is that India and the UN have been locked in a Catholic marriage ever since Panditji took the Kashmir problem to New York, and there is no question, of a divorce in a Catholic marriage — except by breaking the Church itself, as King Henry VIII of England did.
The UNMOGIP is an Albatross India has to keep wearing whether it likes it or not. That’s why we settled for the next best thing, namely, adopt an attitude of benign neglect of those UNMOGIP guys at 1/AB Purana Qila Road, India Gate, New Delhi.
This being the matrix, it was unwise — nay, exceedingly foolish — for South Block to have ordered the mission in New York to bark at Ban. By the way, did Ban ever complain to us he is short of funds and can’t afford the wages and perks of the UNMOGIP boys?
Now that Ban has nicely ticked us off, what do we do? Dignity and self-respect would demand that India made a formal demarche with the Security Council that we have had enough of the UNMOGIP and proposed to send the chaps back to New York. Or else, this episode would look like vacuous grandstanding for the benefit of the domestic opinion in our country. Which it probably was.