Kashmir, Palestine disputes remain UN’s 'most glaring issues': FM Qureshi says on body's 75th anniversary

22 Sep 2020

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Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi delivers a video message on UN's 75th anniversary
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi delivers a video message on UN's 75th anniversary

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday termed Jammu and Kashmir and Palestine disputes as the "most glaring issues" of the United Nations.

In a series of tweets on the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, he said the people of occupied Kashmir and Palestine "still await fulfillment of right of self-determination".

"We the peoples of the UN must rise up to meet the global challenges faced, both historic and current," he said.

"While we have seen enormous international cooperation to combat Covid-19, it has failed to unify humanity as it could have."

The foreign minister also warned that "the very forces that led to the Second World War, racism and fascism are taking the shape of rising xenophobia and Islamophobia".

"We must come together to prevent forebodings from turning into self-fulfilling prophecies. In this noble endeavour, the United Nations will always find Pakistan by its side," he added.

On UN's 75th anniversary, "Pakistan reaffirms our ardent commitment to upholding the spirit of multilateralism [...] It is our conviction that for the UN, its values and its architecture, there is no alternative".

On Monday, the world’s often-divided nations united to adopt a declaration commemorating the 75th anniversary of the UN, saying the urgency for all countries to come together “has rarely been greater” amid global challenges ranging from the coronavirus pandemic to climate change and violent extremism.

The declaration, approved by 193 member nations at the mainly virtual commemoration, praises the UN as the only global organisation with the power to bring countries together and give “hope to so many people for a better world and [...] deliver the future we want".

The declaration says the world “is plagued by growing inequality, poverty, hunger, armed conflicts, terrorism, insecurity, climate change and pandemics”. It says the poorest and least developed countries are falling behind, decolonisation is not complete and people are forced to make dangerous journeys in search of refuge.

Pakistan has consistently raised the Kashmir issue on different UN platforms over the years. The issue has also been raised by China in the UN Security Council (UNSC) three times since New Delhi stripped the occupied territory of its special status last year — a move that was met with much furore in Pakistan. The issue has also been raised by Prime Minister Imran on multiple forums, including at the United Nations General Assembly last year.

Islamabad has pointed out that stripping the occupied territory of its special status goes against resolutions passed by the UNSC that dictate that the residents of Kashmir should be given the right to self-determination.

The Indian government, however, argues that the move has ended the 'disputed' nature of occupied Kashmir and therefore it should be removed from the council’s agenda.

According to diplomatic sources at the UN headquarters in New York, India has long sought to remove the “India-Pakistan Question” from the agenda of the Security Council. Despite its best efforts, India’s attempts have failed consistently.