Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi Friday briefed representatives of the Kashmiri diaspora in New York on the evolving situation in Indian-Occupied Kashmir in the backdrop of the grave human rights violations being committed there.
Ambassador Lodhi informed participants of the meeting, which was convened at the Pakistan Mission to the UN in New York, that the government of Pakistan stood firm in its principled policy of providing moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmir cause, according to a press release of the mission.
Pakistan was actively pursuing the issue at various forums at the United Nations. She stressed the importance of an independent inquiry into the extra-judicial killing of Kashmiri youth leader Burhan Wani and innocent protestors. The plight of unarmed Kashmiri civilians, killed, blinded and maimed was forcefully brought to the attention of the international community. Ambassador Lodhi had highlighted this latest escalation during her statement at the General Assembly in a debate on human rights.
She also raised this during meetings with the UN leadership as well as with the President of the Security Council, Ambassador Koro Bessho of Japan.
In this regard, the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, had written to the UN Secretary-General Ban ki Moon, the Security Council president, OIC Secretary-General Iyad Ameen Madani and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein to express Pakistan’s serious concern about the alarming situation in Indian-occupied Kashmir, drawing their attention to the brutal killing of innocent civilians and grave violations of the fundamental human rights of the Kashmiris by Indian forces.
Denial of the right of self-determination to the people of occupied Kashmir through an independent plebiscite promised to them by various Security Council resolutions, was at the heart of the current flare up, which threatened regional peace and security, Ambassador Lodhi told participants. She called for the UN to fulfil its 68-year-old promise to the Kashmiri people.
Members of the Kashmiri diaspora attending the meeting including Capt. Ret Shaheen Butt, president of the Kashmir Mission and Sardar Sawar Khan, a former member of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Council, appreciated Pakistan’s consistent support and its efforts of taking up the issue at different international forums. They pledged to continue highlighting the issue through efforts directed at the media, human rights organisations and local political leaders.