UNITED NATIONS – Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Maleeha Lodhi, spent a busy day on Tuesday briefing the Security Council president, diplomats and UN officials on the grave situation in the South Asian region , especially in the wake of India’s illegal annexation of the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
The Pakistani envoy went through a tightly laid-out schedule to apprise as many of her counterparts as possible of the breach by India of UN Security Council resolutions on Kashmir with the revocation of the territory’s special status that has spawned a regional crisis.
Among the diplomats she interacted with on Tuesday was China’s UN Ambassador Jun Zhang.
During her meeting with Joanna Wronecka of Poland, the president of the 15-member Council for the month of August, Ambassador Lodhi called the Indian action “an egregious assault on the dignity of the Kashmiris,” according to informed sources.
She called on the Security Council to demand that India halt and reverse its unlawful and destabilizing actions; ensure full compliance with UN Security Council resolutions; and refrain from any steps that interfere with the settlement of the decades-old Jammu and Kashmir dispute.
“The tragedy of Kashmir has thus, come full circle,” the Pakistani envoy told UNSC President, the sources said. In 1947, she pointed out, India occupied Jammu and Kashmir on equally fallacious grounds.
“The real Indian intention to institute these changes is to alter the demographic structure of the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” Ambassador Lodhi told UNSC President Wronecka . Since these actions could materially breach the plebiscite arrangements under the UN auspices, she said, they constitute a flagrant violation of Security Council resolutions, particularly with regard to realization of the right to self-determination of the Kashmiris.
These Indian machinations notwithstanding, the Pakistani ambassador explained that relevant Council resolutions provide that ‘the final disposition of the State of Jammu and Kashmir will be made in accordance with the will of the people expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations’.
The unilateral Indian action cannot revoke this legal ‘fact’ and is therefore, ultra vires and void, Ambassador Lodhi said. Pakistan, she said, resolutely condemns this sly Indian attempt to perpetuate its illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir, adding, “The valiant Kashmiri struggle for self-determination cannot be crushed through a parliamentary act.”
Kashmiris across the spectrum, the Pakistani envoy told President Wronecka, have unequivocally rejected the Indian move. Moderate voices within India have also berated Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government for mortgaging Kashmir to its narrow political interests, she pointed out.
“Tellingly, India is fully aware of the illegality of its actions,” she said, pointing out that he legislative ‘farce’ in the Indian Parliament was thus, preceded by additional deployment of 38,000 soldiers to the occupied territory, forced exodus of all outsiders, imposition of curfew, detention of the legitimate Kashmiri leadership, and suspension of communication services.
“These are not actions of a state with legitimate claims over a territory but are acts of a usurper who seeks to occupy a territory and subdue its people, under duress and subjugation,” Ambassador Lodhi said.
In 2018, she said Indian forces committed more than 2350 ceasefire violations resulting in the martyrdom of 36 civilians while countless others sustained injuries, noting that this dangerous trend continues unabated during the current year.
“As the preeminent body tasked with the maintenance of international peace and security, the Security Council should take immediate cognizance of the situation,” Ambassador Lodhi emphasized “After all, at stake are not only the imperative for regional peace, but also the credibility and standing of the Council to uphold its own legally binding resolutions.”
According to sources, the UNSC president listened to the Pakistani envoy and said she was closely following the developments in Kashmir.