A top Pakistani diplomat told the United Nations Friday that it’s decolonisation agenda would remain incomplete without settling the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan on the basis of Security Council resolutions that pledged the right of self-determination to the Kashmiri people.
“Generation after generation of Kashmiris has only seen broken promises and brutal oppression,” Permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, said in a well-reasoned speech to the General Assembly’s Special Political and Decolonization (Fourth) Committee.
For over six decades, she reminded the international community that the 15 member Council’s promise to hold a plebiscite under UN auspices to allow the Kashmiri people to determine their destiny has not been implemented.
“This is the most persistent failure of the United Nations,” Ambassador Lodhi said while participating in a debate on decolonization issues.
“Today the Kashmiri people have risen again in unison against an occupation,” she told delegates from around the world. The ongoing indigenous uprising was a consequence of the denial of their right to self-determination that has been met with characteristic Indian brutality.
During the past two and a half months, over a hundred innocent Kashmiris have been killed, hundreds blinded and thousands injured by Indian bullets and pellets. “This is the worst form of state terrorism, a war crime, which India has perpetrated by its illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir for decades.”
Contrary to Indian claims, the Pakistani envoy said Jammu and Kashmir never was and can never be an integral part of India. “It is disputed territory, the final status of which has yet to be determined in accordance with several resolutions of the UN Security Council,” she asserted.
“Uniform, comprehensive and non-selective implementation of United Nations resolutions should be our focus,” she said, adding: “Selective implementation erodes confidence in the system and undermines the credibility of the Organization.” She went on to voice regret that even in the twenty-first century, some Territories remained under the yoke of colonial and foreign occupation.
In the Middle East, Ambassador Lodhi said the continued denial of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people is the core underlying cause of conflict and a grave impediment to lasting peace. “A strong and viable state of Palestine is the only guarantor of peace in the region.”
The Pakistani envoy’s advocacy of the cause of Kashmir evoked a response from an Indian diplomat who claimed that the effort was a “flagrant misuse” of the forum while harping on the same old tune that Kashmir was an integral part of India,
Pakistani delegate Saima Syed responded by saying that her counterpart from India had made “untenable” assertions regarding Jammu and Kashmir. The United Nations recognised that all people under alien subjugation had a right to self-determination. India continued to perpetrate misinformation on the issue year after year, she said, emphasising that Jammu and Kashmir were in fact disputed territories.
Indeed, Ms Syed added, the struggle of Kashmir’s people was a legitimate one, and they had a right to political support from the international community.