UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 27 (APP): Pakistani Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi has spread Pakistan’s solemn message at the United Nations loud and clear that as a victim of aggression, Pakistan will respond to India at a time and place of its choosing.
Ambassador Lodhi, permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN, held a series of intense meetings with key diplomats and UN officials following Tuesday’s blatant violations of the Line of Control (LoC) by Indian war planes that worsened the already dangerous situation between the two countries. She also gave interviews to representatives of international media.
“We will not sit back,” she told BBC radio when asked whether Pakistan will respond to India’s attack.
Ambassador Lodhi said that following the Feb. 14 Pulwama incident, Prime Minister Imran Khan offered investigation if “actionable” evidence was provided and he proposed discussions and dialogue, but regrettably India responded by launching an attack on Pakistan in violation of UN Charter and international law, posing a threat to international peace and security.
“This is not how countries act when responding to challenges,” the Pakistani envoy said.
Pakistan, she said, stands for peace and resolving disputes through negotiations, but India would not have it that way.
The Pakistani envoy rejected as “absolutely untrue” the Indian claims that it hit a Jaish-e-Muhammad training, and she warned that a dangerous situation is evolving.
In this regard, the Pakistani envoy called on the International community to respond because the situation could spin out of control.
The root cause of violence in Indian Occupied Kashmir was the denial of self-determination to the Kashmiri people, Ambassador Lodhi pointed out.
She began her full day of engagements by delivering Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s letter on the situation created by India’s act of aggression to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ office — the UN chief was in travel at that time — and to the UN Security Council President. The letter has been circulated as a document of the Security Council at Pakistan’s request.
The ambassador is also keeping envoys of OIC countries informed, and distributed the Organization’s statement condemning the Indian action.
Noting the UN chief’s call to India and Pakistan for ‘maximum restraint”, through his spokesman on Tuesday, she said it was more directed at New Delhi, which had committed aggression.
She told Voice of America (VOA) that Foreign Minister Qureshi would speak by telephone with the UN Secretary-General Wednesday to discuss the escalation.
“We will wait to see how the Secretary-General shows leadership and prevents our region from going over the precipice,” Lodhi said.
“We had told the international community that India’s rhetoric of belligerence and bellicosity was leading our region to a very dangerous escalation, and now we are at that point,” Ambassador Lodhi said.
“Pakistan also reserves its right to self-defence. We will do that at a time and place of our own choosing,” she added
Responding to media questions, the ambassador said India was trying to set up ‘Might is Right’, and if unchecked the law of jungle will operate in the world.
About Jaish-e-Mohammad and other groups, Ambassador Lodhi said these were proscribed in Pakistan, and the country continues to fight terrorism. Pakistan, she said, has itself been a victim of terrorism.