NEW YORK: Pakistan’s moral, political and diplomatic support to the people of Kashmir in their struggle for their right to self-determination has been reaffirmed by Pakistan’s Ambassador to UN, Dr. Maleeha Lodhi.
Speaking at an event to mark Kashmir Solidarity Day at the Pakistan Mission to the United Nations, Ambassador Lodhi said, “Until Kashmir is liberated from Indian occupation, our moral, political and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people will continue.”
She said while Kashmir solidarity is observed in February, every day is solidarity day with the Kashmiri people; and every day is a black day of shame for Indian occupation forces, which have failed to suppress the Kashmiri spirit for 70 years.
Ambassador Lodhi highlighted the gross and blatant violations of human rights committed by Indian forces in Jammu and Kashmir in which hundreds of people have been killed and maimed, and since July, hundreds have also been blinded by the use of pellet guns.
She also apprised the meeting of the steps taken by the Government of Pakistan to highlight the plight of the Kashmiris on the diplomatic front.
Dr. Lodhi said that on behalf of the government she was actively pursuing the Kashmir issue at various forums at the United Nations.
She said that the Kashmir issue was raised during meetings with the UN leadership as well as the President of the Security Council. The President had thereafter briefed the Security Council on the issue at Pakistan’s request.
Ambassador Lodhi also told the gathering about her meeting with the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, to press for Pakistan’s demand for the despatch of a UN mission to investigate human rights violations in Kashmir.
She briefed the gathering of the Kashmiri and Pakistani diaspora about the Prime Minister’s recent meeting with the new Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres in Davos. “The Prime Minister reminded him of his responsibilities as Secretary General and urged him to play a role in the peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute”, she added.
Denial of the right of self-determination to the people of occupied Kashmir through an independent plebiscite, promised to them by various Security Council resolutions was at the heart of the current flare up, which threatened regional peace and security, Ambassador Lodhi told the audience.
Dr. Nafisa Shah, Member National Assembly, and the Consul General of Pakistan Raja Ali Ejaz who also addressed the meeting, called for unity among Pakistanis to promote the cause of Kashmir.
Members of the Kashmiri diaspora attending the meeting appreciated Pakistan’s consistent support and efforts to forcefully raise the issue at different international forums. They pledged to continue highlighting the issue through efforts directed at the media, human rights organizations and American Congressional leaders.
The meeting commenced with the screening of a documentary showing the grave atrocities committed by Indian security personnel against the people of Kashmir.