UNITED NATIONS: Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s top diplomat, fervently called for a settlement of the Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India for establishing lasting peace in the region.
Speaking to the participants of a General Assembly’s committee, Ambassador Lodhi, a permanent representative of Pakistan at the United Nations (UN) said freedom struggle and terrorism were separate and India must not conflate them.
She said the struggle of Kashmir for liberation from the illegal occupation of India was ‘legitimate’ and added; they have a right to get moral and political support from the international community.
She said, “Today, a new generation of Kashmiris has risen to demand freedom from India’s illegal occupation.”
“This uprising is led mainly by Kashmiri youth, armed with nothing more than a hunger for freedom in their hearts and a belief in the righteousness of their cause,” Lodhi added.
“Under international law and according to declarations of the United Nations on Self-Determination, the Kashmiris have the right to struggle for their right to self-determination by all means at their disposal”, Ambassador Lodhi told UN committee.
Pakistan, she said, always wanted a solution to the Kashmir dispute, as per the aspirations of the Kashmiri people and relevant Security Council resolutions that call for the exercise of the right to self-determination by the Kashmiri people through a UN-supervised plebiscite.
“Peace in South Asia cannot be achieved without a just resolution of the Kashmir dispute,” the Pakistani envoy said while participating in a debate on the Right to Self-Determination.
“Fulfilment of the long-held promise of self-determination to the Kashmiri people is thus urgent as well as vital to establishing lasting peace in our region.”
The Pakistani envoy expressed concern over the situation of people in held Kashmir, who were waiting for their rights to be realised despite several Security Council resolutions.
Meanwhile, during a meeting of OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) Ambassadors in New York, Maleeha Lodhi also called for keeping the situation in Kashmir on the agenda of the 57-member the body’s Human Right Committee.