NEW YORK – Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Maleeha Lodhi told the world body that the decolonization agenda of the United Nations would remain incomplete without resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.
Speaking in the Debate of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee, she said that for over six decades UN Security Council resolutions promising a plebiscite under UN auspices to allow the Kashmiri people to determine their destiny have not been implemented.
“This is the most persistent failure of the United Nations”, she asserted
Highlighting the plight of the Kashmiri people, Ambassador Lodhi said that generation after generation of Kashmiris has only seen broken promises and brutal oppression.
“Today the Kashmiri people have risen again in unison against occupation. The ongoing indigenous uprising is a consequence of the denial of their right to self-determination. This has been met once more with characteristic Indian brutality”, she said.
During the past two and a half months, the Pakistani envoy told UN member states, over a hundred innocent Kashmiris have been killed, hundreds blinded and thousands injured by Indian bullets and pellets.
She called this “the worst form of state terrorism, a war crime, which India has perpetrated by its illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir for decades”.
Countering Indian claims,Ambassador Lodhi said that Jammu and Kashmir never was and can never be an integral part of India. She said, “It is disputed territory, the final status of which has yet to be determined in accordance with several resolutions of the UN Security Council. The right of the Kashmiri people to self-determination has been acknowledged and promised to them by the Security Council”.
Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi urged the UN to focus on uniform, comprehensive and non-selective implementation of UN resolutions, both of the General Assembly and the Security Council. “Selective implementation erodes confidence in the system and undermines the credibility of the organization. It also fuels and deepens conflicts and compounds the suffering of people”, she said.
Pakistan called on the international community to intensify and re-energise their efforts to end colonialism in all its forms and manifestations.
Maleeha Lodhi observed that progress on fulfillment of the critical but longstanding agenda of decolonization of the UN seems to have slowed down considerably at a time when the process is far from complete.
She also referred to the tragedy of Palestine saying that this has intensified. “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.
She voiced Pakistan’s continued support for the just struggle of the Palestinian people for freedom saying that a strong and viable state of Palestine is the only guarantor of peace in the region.
Dr. Lodhi concluded by emphasizing that the United Nations has a moral responsibility towards people suffering under colonial domination and foreign occupation. “There is an urgent need to bring the work on this unfinished agenda to closure and eliminate the last remaining vestiges of colonialism”.