Pakistan calls for UNSC to demand end to curfew, rights violations in IoK: Maleeha Lodhi

NEW YORK: Pakistan has called on the UN Security Council to demand an end to India’s repressive military lockdown of occupied Kashmir, now in its second month and move to implement its resolutions pledging the right of self-determination to the long-suffering Kashmiri people.

“This travesty must end,” Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN Maleeha Lodhi said during a UN General Assembly debate on the annual report of the 15-member Council.

Recalling that the Security Council had adopted at least 11 resolutions on the Kashmir dispute, the Pakistani envoy told the 193-member Assembly that, when it fails to ensure implementation, the consequences are paid in blood over generations.

“In the case of Kashmir,” she said, “this bloodshed has lasted over seventy years, and has accounted for the lives of over 95,000 Kashmiris, including countless women and children.”

Ambassador Lodhi also pointed out that while the Security Council actively pursues the implementation of some resolutions, it ignores others, thus reflecting double standards in its work.

“In our region,” she said, “the festering occupied Kashmir dispute, serves, not only as a reprehensible face to a brutal and suppressive occupation but also a constant reminder to the solemn commitment that the Security Council, through its several resolutions – at least eleven – made to the Kashmiri people, promising them their right to self-determination.”

Faced with the illegal Indian annexation of occupied Kashmir on August 5, the grim reality of occupation has become ever starker for the Kashmiri people.

Ambassador Lodhi warned that unilateral action and gross violations of Security Council resolutions threaten the rules-based international order, as well as the Council’s legitimacy and credibility.

On the stalled UNSC reform process, Ambassador Lodhi said Pakistan seeks a council that is democratic, effective, accountable to member states and “in sync” with the contemporary world.

In an obvious reference to the intense campaign for permanent seats on the Council by India, Brazil, Germany and Japan, known as the Group of Four, she said their “divisive tactics” were only prolonging the impasse and vitiating the atmosphere for negotiations.

“The reform process cannot be held hostage to the individual national pursuits of permanent seats,” said the Pakistani envoy, which firmly opposes additional permanent members and advocates expansion only in the non-permanent category.

On UN peacekeeping operations, Ambassador Lodhi said Pakistan takes great pride in its role and major contribution to the world body’s flagship activity, including in Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire, Timor-Leste and Liberia.

“Even today, over 5,000 Pakistani soldiers continue to serve as flag-bearers of hope and a prosperous future, for millions afflicted by conflict across the world.”