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August 15, 2019

Pakistan expects UNSC to address Kashmiris’ plight sufferings: Maleeha


Thu, Aug 15, 2019

NEW YORK: With the UN Security Council preparing to hold consultations Friday on India's annexation of occupied Kashmir, Pakistan's Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi has called on the 15-member body to take note of New Delhi's "illegal" action and to reaffirm its commitment to its own resolutions that pledge the right of self-determination to the Kashmiri people.

In a series of interviews with international media outlets, she said she had been meeting all the members of the Security Council, including the five permanent members, since the crisis erupted last week and briefing them of the precarious situation in occupied Kashmir.

"We are getting significant traction from the members of the Council," the Pakistani envoy told TRT, the Turkish international channel.

When her attention was drawn by BBC News to statements made by some Council members on Pakistan's move for a Council meeting on the crisis, Ambassador Lodhi said, "I am not going to pre-judge what the Council members are going to say but I think they will be guided by the statement of the UN Secretary General (Antonio Guterres).

"The UN chief had voiced concern over India's action in Kashmir and said that the status of Jammu and Kashmir should not be altered. He also reaffirmed UN resolutions for a settlement of the the decades-old Kashmir dispute.

"It was an important statement and they (Council members) will be guided by that and I think at this point in time the very affirmation or re-affirmation of the Council’s resolutions itself is going to nullify the Indian claim that this is an internal matter," the Pakistan envoy said.

"So, I think it’s important to wait and see," she said, while also urging that international opinion, as expressed by the media,"should also be taken note of.

"At the end of the day or perhaps at the start of the day, this is about people, it’s about the pain and suffering and plight of the people, who been now locked up in their own homes, their state has been dismembered, they have been completely disinherited and now the Indian government is planning a demographic change to take away from them their majority status in their own region.

"About India's claim that the revocation of Article 370 of Indian Constitution would benefit Kashmir, Ambassador Lodhi said, "Well, India’s own claim is contradicted by what they have done, if this was being done in interest of the people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir then they should have been allowed to come out and to welcome this move, the fact they’ve been muffled, they’ve been locked up.

"India knows that what it has done will never be accepted by the people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

I think the few reports that are coming out right now from the valley indicate that not a single, not a single Kashmiri is going to get up and support, even pro-Indian politicians in occupied Kashmir have been saying this is unacceptable," she said.

"We all have to make a choice whether we want to live in a rule’s based international order where law is supreme, where we respect the law as reflected and enshrined in UN Security Council resolutions or do we want to live in the law of the jungle where unilateral actions by countries play havoc with international law.

" When TRT's anchor pointed that the Kashmiri people were in a state of lockdown for 11 days, Ambassador Lodhi said, "You know people are calling the whole occupied state of Jammu and Kashmir an armed cage. It has become an armed prison.

Over 14 million people are in grave pain and suffering, everything is shut down.

They don’t have the means to go and shop the basic foodstuff. I believe there are shortages already. Communications shutdown is complete.

"And, above all, they are not even allowed to pray, they wanted to pray in our Eid-ul-Azha and they were not even allowed to go to main Jamia Masjid or mosque in Srinagar was shut down on our second most important religious festival.

So, when people were not allowed to pray, when people were not allowed to move out of their homes, what does that show? This shows that India took an unlawful action to lock up every Kashmiri because they know when the Kashmiris come out, when the curfew is lifted, there will not be single Kashmiri that will say yes to the Indian action, they will all say no.

They will say something that they been saying for 70 years, India get out of Jammu and Kashmir".