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Kashmir—Jammu Dispute

Volume 466: debated on Thursday 7 July 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations what reports the Security Council has received from the United Nations Kashmir Commission; and what attitude the United Kingdom representative on the Security Council has been instructed to adopt.

At at early stage of the Kashmir-Jammu dispute the Government of India proposed that the future status of Kashmir should be settled in accordance with the will of the people freely expressed in a plebiscite to be undertaken by the United Nations, and the Government of Pakistan agreed. The Security Council endorsed this principle and sent a United Nations Commission to India and Pakistan. In January last, the Commission reported to the Council that it had secured the acceptance by both Governments of the principles on which a truce might be made and a plebiscite conducted on the question whether the State should accede to India or Pakistan. On the strength of this agreement a cease-fire was arranged with effect from New Year's Day between the armed forces which had been engaged in Kashmir. Since then the Commission have been endeavouring to negotiate a truce in order that conditions suitable for a plebiscite could be brought about.In March Admiral Nimitz was nominated as plebiscite administrator with the agreement of both Governments. Progress has been temporarily held up by differences of view about the detailed application of the principles for a truce but it is our earnest hope that these differences will shortly be resolved, and I am confident that both Governments still desire that the matter shall be settled by the vote of the inhabitants of Kashmir, in a plebiscite conducted under free and fair conditions. His Majesty's Government have always believed that the Kashmir dispute could best be settled by such a plebiscite and that in this way an early solution of the problem can be found which will in future be accepted as just and lasting by the peoples of India and Pakistan. The United Kingdom representative in the Security Council has been instructed accordingly.