‘Mounting unrest in region could destabilise South Asia,’ says Maliha Lodhi


UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Maleeha Lodhi highlighted the need to address the deteriorating situation in Indian-held Kashmir.

She was addressing a meeting of OIC Ambassadors with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres the other day.

“Mounting unrest in the region could destabilise South Asia,” she said. During an hour-and-a-half long meeting at the UN Headquarters in New York, several issues were discussed, including Palestine, Islamophobia and the situation being faced by Rohingya Muslims.

Ambassador Lodhi, on this occasion, called for a peaceful resolution to the longstanding Kashmir dispute.

To prevent another crisis in the subcontinent, she said, the major issue on the UN agenda and one that figures in every OIC Communique must be addressed, according to reports.

Pakistan appreciates UN Secretary-General for his efforts to strengthen the UN’s capability to assist member states in a balanced implementation of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, the ambassador was further quoted as saying. “The members are confident that under his leadership, the UN’s efforts in countering terrorism will be effective and non-discriminatory,” the Pakistani envoy said.

This is particularly relevant to the false association being made by some elements between terrorism and Islam, said Lodhi. The Pakistani envoy said Islamophobia was no longer limited to the Western world but was also being witnessed in Asia where Muslims were facing mob violence every day.

However, she lauded the UN chief for establishing a taskforce to draw up a plan of action that Guterres himself proposed in the meeting to counter Islamophobia. Ambassador Lodhi underlined that engaging young people who are adept at using social media would be crucial to this important endeavour.

Earlier in the meeting, the UN Secretary-General also outlined his key policy priorities and expressed the hope of maintaining a regular liaison with the OIC Ambassadors on issues of mutual concern.