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Web Desk
August 17, 2019

UNSC meeting proved Kashmir not India’s internal matter: Maleeha Lodhi


Web Desk
Sat, Aug 17, 2019

UNITED NATIONS: Most members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) expressed concerns over violations of fundamental human rights in the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, during the meeting, said Pakistan's Ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi Friday.

"Majority of the UNSC member countries said they are concerned over grave situation involving the human rights violations," Lodhi told Geo News in New York after the Security Council’s meeting.

"One important permanent member even said the human rights violations in the occupied valley should be probed."

Now, we will take stock of the situation and reevaluate our position following the Friday’s development, said the Pakistan ambassador to the UN, adding the consultations will be held on the points if the next step is to be taken in New York or Geneva.

Dubbing the UNSC meeting as highly significant progress, Lodhi said misery and plight of the Kashmiri people was recognised during the meeting.

"Kashmiris are not alone, their voices have been heard, their plight, their hardship, their pain, their suffering, their occupation and the consequences of that occupation have been heard in the UNSC," she said.

"We want to use the diplomatic means for the resolution of the issue," she pointed out.

She talked to media right after the meeting concluded and said that the voice of the people of Jammu and Kashmir (IoK) was heard at the UNSC meeting despite the fact that they were locked up and their voices not heard in their own homes and their own land.

In the backdrop of revocation of article-370 by Narendra Modi-led government coupled with human crisis in the merged occupied territory, the UNSC held a closed door consultative meeting to discuss the issue after Pakistan urged the world body to implement its own resolutions. The dispute continues to fester despite the lapse of over 70 years.

The closed door meeting was called by China on Pakistan’s request to discuss the issue. In the UNSC meeting that was convened after 50 years, the members were briefed over the situation. Now, consultations will take place to decide how to proceed further.

Lodhi told media that the meeting was called within 72 hours after Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi wrote a letter. She also thanked China 'in also joining us in calling this meeting'.

Lodhi stressed the UNSC meeting has endorsed the fact that 'this is an internationally recognised dispute', adding today's meeting also debunked India's claim that the issue was its "internal matter".

She pointed out that the UNSC meeting reaffirmed that its resolutions on the occupied Jammu and Kashmir are still valid.

She thanked all 15 countries for supporting the Kashmiri people and agreeing to hold the meeting despite efforts made to forestall the meeting. She reiterated Pakistan's commitment for a peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute.

She said the entire world is discussing the situation in the occupied state, adding that India committed violence against the Kashmiri people with impunity and these rights violations were also put at table before the Security Council.

"This is the first and not the last step. It will not end here. It will only end when justice is done to the IoK people," she stressed.

"Pakistan will always be there to stand by the Kashmiri people with undeterred diplomatic and political support. Their voices will always be heard," she reiterated the country's resolve.

Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations Zhang Jun also talked to media prior to Lodhi's talk. He said the UNSC members are concerned about the current situation in occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

The Pakistan request for an urgent meeting was contained in a letter from Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi that Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi presented to Polish Ambassador Joanna Wronecka, who is the president of the 15-member council for the month of August.

Revocation of Article-370 by India

On August 5, New Delhi announced that it was revoking Article 370 of the country’s constitution that granted a special status and a degree of autonomy to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, and also breaking the state up into two union territories largely controlled by the central government. Pakistan strongly condemned the move.

Before the constitutional amendments, Jammu and Kashmir - the only Indian state where Muslims constitute a majority - had special autonomy. All bills in this state passed by the central government (except for those related to defense and foreign relations) had to be backed by a local assembly. Citizens of other Indian regions had no right to buy land in Kashmir. The state had its official flag.