Pakistan pushes UN for probe into Indian atrocities in Kashmir
November 01, 2018
UNITED NATIONS – Pakistan has renewed its call for the United Nations to set up a ‘commission of inquiry’ — the world body’s highest-level probe — to investigate the grave human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir.
The probe was recommended by the first-ever United Nations report on the human rights situation in Held Kashmir issued by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on June 14.
“We endorse the report’s recommendations that a UN Inquiry Commission be constituted to investigate and redress the gross violations of the human rights of the Kashmiri people,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi told the General Assembly’s Third Committee, which deals with social, humanitarian and cultural questions.
Speaking in a debate on Right of Self-Determination, She reaffirmed Pakistan’s support to the Kashmiri people until they exercise that right through a UN-supervised plebiscite.
The Pakistani envoy said that Kashmiri people’s aspirations for self-determination would have been fulfilled decades ago had India not employed a brutal policy of repression to deny the Kashmiris their right promised to them by the UN Security Council as well as by the governments of India and Pakistan.
“India continues to hold the future of millions of people hostage,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said.
“Its (Indian) forces have unleashed a reign of terror to crush the will of the Kashmiri people to free themselves from occupation,” she said.
“We would like to reaffirm that the Jammu and Kashmir dispute will remain on the UN agenda until the Kashmiri people are allowed to exercise their will, according to the agreed method prescribed by the Security Council – a plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations.”
At the outset, Maleeha Lodhi recalled that the right to self-determination was sanctified in the foundations of the United Nations. Yet, for countless people, the promise of freedom remains elusive, she said.
For the exercise of the right to self-determination, she said, three principles were imperative:
— the right must be exercised freely and without the threat or use of coercion or repression;
— the right must not and cannot lapse with the passage of time, law, after all, has no expiry date; and,
— the legitimate struggle of peoples to self-determination must not be obfuscated or eclipsed by efforts to conflate it with terrorism.
“It is unfortunate that despite these clear injunctions of international law and morality, millions continue to live under alien domination and foreign occupation,” the Pakistani envoy said.
“Nowhere is this more glaring and tragic than in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, where occupying forces have been ruthlessly suppressing the courageous struggle of the people for their right to self-determination for over 70 years.”
Maleeha Lodhi said that human rights violations of the Kashmiri people have been repeatedly documented by independent human rights observers, the most significant among them being the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who issued a report in June on the situation in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
“We endorse the Report’s recommendations that a UN Inquiry Commission be constituted to investigate and redress the gross violations of the human rights of the Kashmiri people.”
Pakistan, she said was also deeply concerned at the rise of racism, xenophobia and intolerance, and rejected these in the strongest possible terms.
“We believe such divisive forces pose a grave threat to international peace and security and can undo the work of peacemakers by disrupting the momentum for peaceful coexistence and mutually beneficial cooperation,” Maleeha Lodhi added.
During the debate, an Indian delegate, Paulomi Tripathi, responded to Pakistan’s statement, claiming that Kashmir was an integral part of India.