KOSOVO’S INDEPENDENCE – A THREAT TO INDIA


KOSOVO-A TINY, ECONOMICALLY STAGNANT BREAKAWAY PROVINCE OF SERBIA

James Palmer is a student in the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, U.S.A.(james.palmer@tufts.edu) In a guest editorial titled ‘ U.S. blunders by recognizing Kosovo independence’ that was published in The Detroit Free Press on Monday, March 31, 2008, he had claimed that the decision to recognize Kosovo’s independence was foolish. In doing so, he had stated that the United States and its European allies have undermined international law and opened the door to separatist movements world wide to follow suit.

THE UNITED NATIONS AND THE INTERNATIONAL LAW ;

The United Nations Charter enshrines the inviolability of state sovereignty. Mr. Palmer had argued that in recognizing Kosovo without a UN Security Council Resolution, the United States and its European allies have weakened two of the fundamental principles of international law : that states are free to determine their internal composition and that their territorial integrity must be respected. Security Council Resolution 1244 had placed Kosovo under UN administration and had provided for Kosovo’s autonomy within Serbia. Now, the administrative authority is transferred from the UN sanctioned mission in Kosovo to an EU mission that has no legal mandate in the province. The main problem is that Kosovo’s independence undermines a system of international law. Kosovo’s independence sets the precedent for ethnic enclaves within other sovereign states. As per Mr. Palmer, the dangerous precedent it has created is : the carving off of a sovereign state’s territory in favor of an ethnic and religious minority threatening violence – a model to be replicated elsewhere.

America has been making ill-fated decisions in the Balkans for at least a decade and a half. Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence has only re inflamed the divisions and enmities of the 1990s. Mr. Palmer had warned that the ethnic Albanians in the states of Bosnia, Macedonia and Montenegro are emboldened and they are calling for creation of ” greater Albania ” which would result in a new round of ethnic cleansing and more violence.

KOSOVO AND KASHMIR – AMERICAN POLICY :

America and its European ally Great Britain have consistently worked to undermine the interests of India in the United Nations and the Security Council had passed resolutions which ignore India’s territorial integrity and India’s sovereignty over areas of Kashmir state that Pakistan had illegally occupied during its wars of aggression in 1947-48. India could protect its vital interests in the Security Council only on account of the help provided by the Soviet Union. Leaders of USSR, Nikita Khrushchev(1953-1964) and Leonid Brezhnev(1964-1982) played the role of a life savior and had helped India to defend its position with regard to Kashmir. At the end of the cold war, America to exercise its role as the world’s only Super Power had changed its attitude towards the basic principles of the United Nations Charter which govern international relations. America would now like to intervene on its own initiative without obtaining a mandate from the United Nations. American support to militant groups based in Kashmir clearly poses a great threat to India’s sovereignty over Kashmir and India should protect itself from the dangerous precedent created by the unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo.

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