UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has reminded the international community that Kashmir is not just a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan, it is mainly about what the people of Kashmir want.
Addressing a webinar on the 1949 UN resolution on Kashmir on Friday, Pakistan Ambassador at the United Nations Munir Akram urged the world body to ensure that the people of the occupied Jammu and Kashmir exercise their right to self-determination.
“The Kashmir dispute is not just a territorial dispute. It is a dispute which involves the people of Kashmir. It is a dispute about the soul of the people of Kashmir,” he said.
Ambassador Akram also highlighted the points on which there is general agreement. “We all agree on the legitimacy of the Kashmiri struggle. We all agree on the massive violations of human rights, which have taken place in Kashmir over the years and especially in the recent past,” he said.
“And we also all agree on the heroism and dedication of the Kashmiri people whose third generation is keeping the spirit of resistance alive”.
Underlining Pakistan’s pivotal role in the Kashmir dispute, Ambassador Akram said: “In culture, faith, history and civilization, the people of Kashmir and the people of Pakistan are one and the same. Every Pakistani has a deep sense of commitment to the cause of Kashmir. It is Pakistan, which is the backbone of the Kashmiri struggle. And we must remain united.”
He noted that the Kashmir issue was alive again as the UN Security Council had considered it three times since August 2019, when India illegally merged the disputed territory with the union, and the UN Human Rights Council had considered it numerous times. He said UN special rapporteurs had also highlighted Indian violations of human rights in Kashmir on several occasions, adding that 18 special rapporteurs had jointly spoken out against Indian atrocities in the region and the UN high commissioner for human rights had issued two reports and spoken five times in the Human Rights Council on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
Published in Dawn, January 10th, 2021