Pak, India clash at UN after FM slams Delhi’s IoK abuses

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-Bilawal says relations with India ‘particularly complicated’ by New Delhi’s abuses in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir

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NEW YORK: Delegates of India and Pakistan Thursday got into a fresh verbal duel in the UN Security Council ministerial-level meeting on food security, after Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari denounced New Delhi’s repressive actions in occupied Kashmir, saying it is “implementing a racist policy” in the disputed territory.
The Indian delegate to the UN reacted to FM Bilawal’s pointed words, claiming that Kashmir was an integral part of India and accusing Pakistan of being involved in terrorism.
Exercising his right of reply, Pakistan’s delegate Imran Khan rejected India’s claim that Jammu and Kashmir was its part.
“Jammu and Kashmir is not and has never been a part of India,” Khan, a counselor in the Pakistan mission to the UN, said, adding that any official UN map can verify that the Himalayan state is “disputed territory”.
“As stipulated in the Security Council resolution 47(1948), the ‘final disposition’ of the State of Jammu and Kashmir is to be decided by the people of Jammu & Kashmir through a fair and impartial plebiscite, to be held under UN auspices,” he said. Pointing out that India had accepted the UN Security Council resolutions, but he said they remain to be implemented.
“India’s refusal to do so, for over seven decades now, constitutes a flagrant and continuing violation of the Security Council resolutions, of the UN Charter, and the international law,” the Pakistani delegate said.
“The Indian government’s unilateral and illegal actions of 5 August 2019, to rob occupied Jammu and Kashmir of its identity, to oppress its people with 900,000 occupying troops and to change Jammu & Kashmir’s demography from a Muslim majority state to a Hindu majority state have narrowed the space for dialogue on Jammu and Kashmir.”
As regards India’s allegations regarding terrorism, the Pakistani delegate said that they are nothing but a smokescreen to conceal state terrorism against the Kashmiri people.
History bears testimony that colonizers and occupiers often attempt to justify their suppression of legitimate struggles for self-determination and freedom by portraying them as “terrorism”.
But, he said, nothing will dampen the indomitable spirits of Kashmiris to seek their inalienable right to self-determination.
“Pakistan will continue to expose India’s ‘State terrorism’ and it’s oppression against the people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” delegate Imran Khan said.
“We will continue to call for a just solution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the resolutions of the Security Council and wishes of the Kashmiri people.”
The harsh debate comes after Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said there was little scope for dialogue with India as he denounced its “racist” actions in occupied Kashmir.
“As far as the question of our relationship with India is concerned, it is particularly complicated” by New Delhi’s actions in Kashmir – firstly the August 5, 2019 decision to unilaterally annex Jammu and Kashmir and now the delimitation commission move aimed at turning the disputed state’s Muslim majority into a minority, he told a press conference at the UN Headquarters in New York on Thursday before his departure for Islamabad.
“Having said that, we are very cognizant of the fact that economic activity, dialogue, diplomacy are ultimately the ways and means for countries to engage with each other and resolve disputes,” the foreign minister said in reply to a question.
“I just note that, particularly at the moment, given this aggressive, hostile behaviour, the practical space for that happening is very limited,” he said.
Bilawal was visiting the United Nations for a ministerial meeting on food security and met on the sidelines on Wednesday, among others, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Replying to a question, he said he would like to pivot away from single-issue transactional relationship with the United States as he seeks to repair ties with Washington.
“Our relationship with the United States has been coloured too much by the geopolitical context in our region, and particularly by the events and circumstances in Afghanistan,” the foreign minister said.
“We would like to pivot away from a transactory relationship, a one point agenda relationship, to a more broad-based relationship with a particular emphasis on trade,” he said a day after meeting the U.S. Secretary of State.
“We seek to have a more have a more broad-based relationship that encompasses all the dynamics of our friendship,” Bilawal said, “which would have, obviously, a political component, a people-to-people component and the defence component, but most importantly, the economic component as far as the Biden administration is concerned.”
Bilawal said he hoped to pursue a range of bilateral initiatives with his U.S. counterparts aimed at exploring “untapped opportunity” for students, entrepreneurs and other sectors of both societies to interact with one another.
And he cited his recent interactions with Secretary of State Antony Blinken as indicating a good start for launching such projects.