Pakistan has raked up the Kashmir issue again at the UN with its envoy Maleeha Lodhi accusing India of spreading terrorism in the Valley, drawing a sharp reaction from India which described her diatribe as a “lonely voice from the wilderness”.
Pakistan’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN Lodhi, during a debate of the General Assembly, also alleged that India made a “false claim” of conducting surgical strike across the LoC to provoke conflict with Pakistan.
She warned New Delhi that “any aggression” by it would receive a “matching and effective response”. “This claim, and India’s repeated threats to conduct such strikes across the LoC, constitute flagrant violations of the UN Charter’s injunction against the use or threat of use of force,” Lodhi said during the debate on the Report of the Secretary General on the work of the world body.
She said that the UN should not “ignore these open threats to use force” by India. The international community should take urgent action to ask India to halt its provocations against Pakistan, she said.
Continuing her tirade against India on the Kashmir issue, Lodhi alleged, “To cover up its crimes against the Kashmiri people, and to divert world attention, India resorts to daily violation of the ceasefire along the Line of Control in Kashmir.” Lodhi said the international community represented in the United Nations cannot allow “India impunity to conduct “crimes against humanity” in Kashmir under the “flimsy cover” of combating terrorism.
“The only terrorism in Kashmir is India’s state terrorism. State terrorism is, in fact, considered as the gravest form of terrorism by the Non-Aligned Movement, comprising almost two thirds of the General Assembly s membership,” she alleged. Eenam Gambhir, First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of India to the UN, exercising the country’s right to reply said, “We have heard a lonely voice from the wilderness articulate a narrative of the past.”
Pakistan, Gambhir said, has “focused on a topic that has not even been deliberated upon for decades” at the UN. “An issue which that delegation tries to keep alive by procedural stratagems even while the world has moved on. Yesterday’s people reflecting antiquated mindsets of the bygone times are symbolic of what holds us all back,” she said.
The Indian delegation does not wish to “waste the precious time of this August Assembly” in engaging further with such distractions, Gambhir said. Lodhi also said India’s claim of carrying out the surgical strike provides Pakistan “sufficient reason” to respond and exercise its right to self-defence.
Lodhi went ahead to warn India, saying it should not “underestimate Pakistan’s resolve and capacity to defend itself”. During the General Assembly debate last month which was addressed by leaders from more than 100 countries, not a single country supported Pakistan’s Kashmir policy. Unmindful of that, Lodhi reiterated her allegation with regard to non-implementation of the UN Security Council resolution on Kashmir.
In her address to the UN General Assembly last month, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had responded to a similar allegation raised by the Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on UN Security Council resolution.
“Prime Minister Abbasi has recalled old resolutions that have been long overtaken by events. But his memory has conveniently failed him where it matters. He has forgotten that under the Shimla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration India and Pakistan resolved that they would settle all outstanding issues bilaterally,” Swaraj had said.