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Ambassador Dr Maleeha Lodhi
Ambassador Dr Maleeha Lodhi

Continuing with its afforest of internationalising Kashmir Issue at world forums, Pakistan Wednesday reminded the United Nations’ 193-member General Assembly of the world body’s obligations to the people of Kashmir.

Speaking in the General Assembly, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Dr Maleeha Lodhi on said, “India’s continuing denial of the right of self-determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, as promised by several resolutions of the Security Council, has sparked another indigenous and popular uprising in occupied Kashmir and also led to tensions in the region.”

Speaking during the debate on the Report of the Secretary General on the Work of the Organization, Dr Lodhi said the Kashmir dispute should be settled in line with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people, through a free and fair plebiscite held under UN auspices, a statement issued by Pakistan Foreign Ministry on Thursday posted on its website said.

Describing the struggle of the Kashmiri people for self-determination as a legitimate one, the Pakistani envoy said, “they have the right to receive moral and political support from the international community.”

Dr Lodhi reiterated Pakistan’s demand for an independent inquiry into “human rights abuses” in Kashmir and welcomed the call by the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights for ‘unfettered and unconditional’ access to enable impartial monitoring of the human rights situation there.

Regretting India’s recent declarations and actions that has created conditions “that pose a threat to peace and security” in the region, Ambassador Lodhi said, “India must take the first step to defuse tensions because it is India that has escalated the situation.”

Screenshot of https://twitter.com/LodhiMaleeha downloaded on Oct 6, 2016.
Screenshot of https://twitter.com/LodhiMaleeha downloaded on Oct 6, 2016.

“In the past few weeks India has engaged in unprovoked shelling across wide swathes along the Line of Control. This continues to this day”, she said. “Pakistan has exercised restraint in the face of such belligerence because we know only too well that such a tense and fraught situation can easily descend into uncontrolled escalation.”

Dr Lodhi pointed out that India does not even allow UNMOGIP (United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan), one of the earliest missions ever deployed by the UN, to fully function according to its mandate and report to the Security Council “so that it can address threats” to international peace and security.

Voicing Pakistan’s desire for a peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes, especially Kashmir, Ambassador Lodhi said, “the settlement of the Kashmir issue is even more urgent today.” “Pakistan stands ready to engage in a meaningful dialogue, which is in the interest of all the people of the region.”

Dr Lodhi concluded by emphasizing that the imposing security and development challenges confronting the world could only be met by strict adherence to the principles of the UN Charter.

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