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India shies away from any dialogue, negotiated solutions on disputes: Lodhi tells UN

NEW YORK: Pakistan said at the United Nations that it seeks a negotiated settlement of all issues including the Kashmir dispute, but India refuses to even engage in any dialogue.

Speaking in the General Assembly in the debate on the report of the Secretary General on the work of the organisation, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi urged the international community to take concrete and meaningful action to alleviate the suffering of the Kashmiri people.

The UN, she asserted, has longstanding obligations on Jammu and Kashmir as it remains among the oldest issues on the agenda of the Security Council.

Welcoming the establishment of the Secretary General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation, Ms Lodhi reminded that the Kashmir dispute was one of the earliest applications of Chapter VI of the UN which deals with pacific settlements of disputes.

Lodhi also referred to the June 14 report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, which she said documented in detail the systematic violations of fundamental rights of the Kashmiri people.

The envoy reminded the world body that through several resolutions, the Security Council provided the Kashmiris their inalienable right to self-determination through a free and impartial plebiscite. “Regrettably, these resolutions remain unimplemented,” she added.

Meanwhile, she said, the Indian occupation continues to commit, with impunity, gross violations of the fundamental human rights of the Kashmiri people.

In her wide-ranging address, Ambassador Lodhi also highlighted Pakistan’s achievements in the fight against terrorism, and said that the country’s military campaign had crushed and eliminated terrorist groups from its territory.

In doing so Pakistan had paid a heavy price, she said, as tens of thousands of civilians and soldiers had embraced martyrdom, and many more were injured.

She reiterated Pakistan’s firm and abiding commitment to fight terrorism and also stressed the importance of addressing the underlying or root causes of terrorism.

She cited Secretary General Antonio Gutteres as saying: “No one is born a terrorist, and nothing justifies terrorism, but factors such as prolonged unresolved conflicts, lack of the rule of law and socioeconomic marginalisation can all play a role in transforming grievances into destructive action”.

In a spirited defence of multilateralism she declared that “Our destiny is invariably tied to rules-based multilateralism, with the UN at its core. For the UN is the only avenue where we, as members of the international community, can find solutions that we cannot resolve by acting alone.”

She said a vibrant and functional UN is also the best bulwark against the rising tide of populism, protectionism and unilateralism, threatening to unravel the very foundations of the international order.

“Working together is not an option but the only choice,” she concluded.

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