Resolution of Kashmir dispute key to UN’s decolonisation agenda: Maleeha


ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of Pakistan to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi has said that peaceful resolution of Kashmir dispute is vital to complete the United Nations’ (UN) decolonisation agenda as the task would remain incomplete without settlement of the long-festering issue.

Maleeha Lodhi said that the right of Kashmiri people to self-determination was recognised by several United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, but UN’s inability to deliver on this pledge continues to represent the world body’s most persistent failure, said a press release on Tuesday.

She argued that the decolonisation agenda was not limited to Non-Self-Governing Territories alone but also encompassed other people, living under alien occupation and foreign domination.

The people of Kashmir, she said, are still waiting for the fulfillment of the promise of holding an UN-supervised plebiscite to enable them to determine their political destiny. To deny this right and perpetuate its unlawful occupation, India has unleashed a reign of terror and employed the most brutal violence, Ambassador Lodhi added.

“The future of Kashmir should and must be determined in accordance with UNSC resolutions”, she stressed and pointed out that this was “the demand of law, morality and the dictate of the fundamental right to self-determination”.

Ambassador Lodhi also referred to the recent report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights that had documented in detail the gross human rights violations committed by India to suppress the legitimate freedom struggle of Kashmiri people.

Underlying the significance of the work of the committee, she said that political and socio-economic progress of people is imperiled and retarded under foreign occupation and alien domination. “While we deliberate”, she said, “more than one generation has not had the opportunity to experience and enjoy the freedom that we all take for granted.”

The desperation and hopelessness of people living under alien or colonial subjugation does not just deserve our attention and empathy, it should also be a call for action,” she said.

Ambassador Lodhi called for a concerted effort by both the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and UNSC for uniform and non-discriminatory implementation of resolutions and decisions on decolonisation and foreign occupation.

“Selective application”, she underscored, “only erodes the confidence of the international community, undermines the credibility of the UN system, and encourages a culture of impunity.” Law must prevail over arbitrary power, and right must prevail over might, she added.