UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan on Tuesday firmly rejected an Indian claim to Kashmir as an “integral part” of India, saying it was an internationally-recognised disputed territory.
Diyar Khan, a minister at the Pakistan Mission to the United Nations, told the UN General Assembly's Third Committee meeting that legal and factual background of Jammu & Kashmir dispute is quite clear and Indian efforts to mislead or confuse the international community would not succeed.
As representatives of the two countries sparred over the decades-old issue at the United Nations in the committee meeting dealing with social, humanitarian and cultural questions, Khan maintained that the disputed nature of state was well established by several UN Security Council resolutions that call for a settlement of this problem through a free and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations.
Diyar Khan was reacting to a statement by Indian delegate Rattan Lal Kataria, who in his speech maintained that Kashmir was its “integral part” and that Pakistan was in illegal occupation of a part of that “Indian state”.
He also claimed that people in India-held Kashmir had regularly participated in “free, fair and open elections.” Kataria, a member of Indian parliament.
Diyar Khan, who was speaking in right of reply to the Indian delegates assertions, referred to the argument that Kashmiris had already exercised their right to self-determination through elections, and said it was a fact known to all that elections in India-held Kashmir were only not recognised by the UN Security Council but also rejected by the people of Kashmir and their representative political leadership.
"The Security Council resolutions had also clarified that no electoral exercise conducted by Indian authorities in Jammu and Kashmir could be accepted as substitute to a free and impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices," said Khan.
About the Indian allegations of terrorism, he called it a false campaign to divert attention from the real issue, saying such tactics would not set aside the Kashmiri people's inalienable right to self-determination.
The purpose of Indian allegations, he said, was to force Pakistan to stop raising the issue of Kashmir at the UN.
Referring to the Indian charge that Pakistan was occupying a part of 'Indian' Kashmir, Diyar Khan asked India to leave this question to the people of Kashmir. “If only India would agree to the UN plebiscite, as we do, the exercise of this free choice by the people of Jammu and Kashmir would clarify, once and for all, as to who is the real occupying force in Kashmir.'
Again taking the floor, Pakistani diplomat Diyar Khan said his country was not interfering in the internal affairs of India by raising the Kashmir issue at the United Nations. “May I also remind the Indian delegate that India itself brought this dispute before the United Nations,” he said.
“India is a large country and we respect its territorial integrity when it comes to its integral parts, but Kashmir is not the integral part. “