UN Charter outlaws use of force, Pakistan reminds UNSC

Published February 26, 2021
In this Jan 2020 file photo, Pakistan's ambassador to the United Nations Munir Akram addresses the UNSC. — APP/File
In this Jan 2020 file photo, Pakistan's ambassador to the United Nations Munir Akram addresses the UNSC. — APP/File

UNITED NATIONS: As senior military officials from India and Pakistan were discussing how to de-escalate tensions, Pakistan’s UN envoy reminded the Security Council that the United Nations charter does not allow the use of force to prevent ‘future’ and ‘anticipatory’ attacks.

Pakistan used the Arria Formula, an informal arrangement, to convey the alarming message hours before senior military commanders from both countries agreed to strictly observe all agreements, understandings and ceasefire along the LoC and all other sectors.

Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Munir Akram began his briefing with a reminder to the UNSC members that the purpose of the UN Charter was to outlaw the resort to war. “Unfortunately, today the resort to unauthorised and unilateral use of force is most visible ... in foreign occupation and intervention; in denial of the right of self-determination and in the coercion of smaller and weaker States,” Mr Akram said.

In an indirect reference to Afghanistan and India, the Pakistani envoy said that his country “faces cross border attacks by terrorist groups from the territory of the neighboring state supported by a third state”. “Pakistan,” the envoy said, “has respected the territorial sovereignty of its neighboring states but we have the right to self-defence against the state which is sponsoring these terrorist attacks against Pakistan.”

The Pakistani ambassador also outlined key elements of the country’s Kashmir policy, which included the right to self-defence and upholding the right to self-determination for the people of held Kashmir. “The struggle of peoples for self-determination cannot be equated with terrorism. Peoples whose right to self-determination has been recognised and which is being forcibly suppressed, have the right, under the Charter and the resolutions of the UN General Assembly, to resort to all possible means, including armed struggle to secure their right to self-determination,” he said.

Exposing India’s attitude towards held Kashmir and Pakistan, the Pakistani envoy said: “In our region, we have been subjected to some of the worst manifestations of … violations of the UN Charter and resort to aggression and the use of force and the threat of use of force.”

Published in Dawn, February 26th, 2021

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