NEW YORK: Pakistan on Friday told the UN General Assembly that sanctioned violations of human rights in Indian-occupied Kashmir, and the tension between the two arch-rival neighbours continued to pose an ever-present threat to international peace and security.
Urging the Security Council to implement its resolutions to resolve the dispute, Pakistan ambassador at UN Munir Akram, during a debate on the annual report of the 15-member body, said: “The Kashmir dispute can be durably resolved through the implementation of these Security Council resolutions.”
“Unfortunately,” he said, “India persists in its policy of repression in occupied Jammu and Kashmir and in attempts to change its demography as the means to foreclose the exercise of the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination — a fundamental right promised to them by the resolutions of the Security Council.”
Noting that the recent understanding between the two countries to observe the 2003 ceasefire agreement along the Line of Control in the disputed Kashmir region was welcomed by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres as a “positive step”, he expressed the hope that it would “provide an opportunity for further dialogue”.
“A constructive dialogue,” Akram said, “is possible if India takes steps to create the necessary enabling environment, including the reversal of its unilateral actions of 5 August 2019 in violation of Security Council resolutions, including resolution 91 and 122,” which prohibited any steps to alter the status of the disputed territory.
In his remarks, the ambassador pointed out that the Security Council had become more “cloistered” than ever before, with the absence of discussion, debate and interaction in open meetings on important issues of peace and security.
“The closed nature of the Security Council’s proceedings and the lack of transparency as illustrated in its Annual Report to the General Assembly, contributes to disguising the reality that global tensions have grown, conflicts proliferated and little progress made in addressing existing disputes, including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute,” he said.
Pointing out that the body considered the situation in occupied Kashmir twice in 2020, he said it was one of the oldest items on its agenda. “Pakistan seeks a just settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions,” he said.
“The continuing oppression of the people of Kashmir and Palestine and countless other conflicts afflicting the Muslim world cannot be divorced from the rising phenomena of Islamophobia and the apparent impunity with which Muslim peoples and nations have been subjected to foreign intervention, aggression and occupation,” Akram said.
“For the past 20 years, hate and discrimination against Muslims has proliferated, even within some advanced and democratic countries.”
“The recent terrorist attack (in Canada) on a Muslim family of Pakistani-origin is yet another tragic reminder of the pernicious threat posed by violent ideologies of hate against Muslims,” he added.
In Afghanistan, Akram expressed hope that the international community, including the UNSC, will support efforts for a negotiated settlement and restrain the role of “spoilers”, some of whom are engaged in sponsoring terrorism from Afghanistan to advance their strategic objectives against Pakistan.
For its part, Pakistan will continue to make all possible efforts to keep the “Afghan-led” and “Afghan-owned” peace process on track, promote mutual accommodation, help to end violence and realize a durable political settlement in Afghanistan, he told UN.
“We must act against all fascist and totalitarian ideologies and groups who have weaponized hate as a political and ideological tool,” he said.
As a first step, Akram said, they must be “called out” and “designated” for what they are: terrorist organisations and groups.
“We reiterate our call for the UN and the Security Council to broaden the scope of the current UN Security Council sanctions regime to include not only Muslim groups but also terrorists inspired by these new ideologies of anti-Muslim hate and terror,” Akram said.