UNITED NATIONS: Emphasizing that Kashmiri people’s right to self-determination is recognized by UN Security Council resolutions, Pakistan has called for a peaceful settlement of the decades-old Kashmir dispute that would lead to durable peace and stability in South Asia.
“The decolonization agenda of the United Nations would be incomplete without resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute,” Raza Bashir Tarar, Pakistan’s deputy permanent Representative to the UN, told the General Assembly’s Fourth (Decolonization) Committee on Monday.
Speaking in a general debate, the Pakistan delegate said decolonization was an objective of such importance that it could not be limited to the ‘Non Self Governing Territories’ alone. The negation of the right to self determination often ignited regional conflicts that threaten peace and security. “Such conflicts cannot be swept under terrorism or religious rivalries,” he added. Tarar reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to finding a peaceful resolution of its dispute with India that was acceptable to all sides, especially the Kashmiri people.
The Pakistani delegate’s remarks on Kashmir, noted by committee delegates as constructive in nature, nevertheless drew a response from the Indian delegate, who said Pakistan’s comments were “unwarranted” and “irrelevant” to the debate. Exercising his right of reply, Indian delegate R. Ravindra, insisted that that Jammu and Kashmir was an “integral part” of India and that the people of Jammu and Kashmir had expressed their free will by participating in elections, a claim which was immediately rejected by Pakistan.
Speaking in his right of reply, Tahir Andrabi, a Pakistani delegate, said the denial of that right of the people of Jammu and Kashmir was very relevant to the work of the Committee. Jammu and Kashmir was not an integral part of India and had never been so, he said. The UN Security Council resolutions had recognized that Jammu and Kashmir was disputed territory and that it was necessary to conduct a free and impartial plebiscite, under United Nations auspices, to determine the will of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Those resolutions, Andrabi said, also clearly state that no electoral exercise conducted by Indian authorities in Jammu and Kashmir can substitute a free and impartial plebiscite to be held under UN auspices. “UN Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir were accepted by both India and Pakistan and are binding on both,” he said, adding “These resolutions remain to be implemented.”