During his speech in the high-level session of the United Nations General Assembly that was met by an Indian walkout, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday requested the Security Council to intervene with a UN force in Kashmir.
In a subtly worded sentence slipped into his speech on Friday, Khan introduced the new tactic, saying, “The Security Council must prevent a disaster conflict (in Kashmir) and secure the implementation of its own resolutions, as it did in the case of East Timor.”
In the East Timor model, the Security Council authorised an international force under Australia to keep order there in the aftermath of Indonesia’s invasion to enforce the Council’s resolutions and help create a transitional administration to ensure the independence of Timor in 1999 and oversee the elections. The next year, UN peacekeepers took over from the international force in what is now Timor-Leste.
Again in 2006, the UN sent in peacekeepers to restore order after a failed coup and widespread unrest.
How it would apply to Pakistan would not be what Khan imagines.
The prime Security Council resolution — No. 47 passed in 1948 — demands that Pakistan first withdraw its troops and citizens from Kashmir.
The plebiscite that Jawaharlal Nehru had initially agreed to could not be held because Pakistan would not comply with the pre-condition set in that resolution.
Subsequently, India held elections in Kashmir, which New Delhi says affirmed its accession to India.
East Timor was a Portuguese colony and the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (Fretilin) was fighting for independence. When a coup overthrew the Salazar regime in Portugal, Fretilin declared independence in 1975.
Indonesia immediately invaded it and held on till 1999 and later the rebels fought backed by Indonesia.
After the UN-sponsored referendum, trouble arose in 2006, when UN sent peacekeepers again.
If there was a parallel to Timor, it would be the removal of Pakistanis from Kashmir to comply with Security Council Resolution 47.