UNITED NATIONS, Nov 05: Regretting that the decades-old UN Security Council resolutions calling for a plebiscite in Kashmir remain unimplemented, Pakistan on Monday stressed the need for a peaceful settlement of the dispute between India and Pakistan over the Himalayan state. “The realization of the right to self-determination continues to be denied to the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Ambassador Masood Khan told the General Assembly’s Third Committee, which deals with social, humanitarian and cultural questions. “They (people of Kashmir) continue to face widespread repression and gross and consistent violations of human rights, which have been documented by independent international human rights organizations,” the Pakistani ambassador said in well-reasoned remarks during a debate on the “Right of peoples to self-determination”.
Pakistan, he said, supported the realization of the right toself-determination in Jammu and Kashmir through dialogue and peaceful means.
Later in the debate, India described as “unwarranted” Pakistan’s forcefuladvocacy of the Kashmiri people’s fundamental rights. “Let me be clear and reiterate that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India,” P. Rajeeve, a Member of the Indian Parliament, insisted in the course of his remarks. Heclaimed that such a reference only detracts from the cause of the Palestinian people and their inalienable right to self-determination.
In his speech, Masood Khan recalled Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’sforthright address to UN General Assembly in support of the Kashmir cause and saying that the sufferings of people living under occupation cannot be swept under the carpet because of power politics.
Reiterating that the territory of Jammu and Kashmir remains disputed, the Pakistani ambassador said, “Legally and constitutionally, it never became part of India, let alone its integral part, because the people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir have still not exercised their will, according to an agreed methodprescribed by the United Nations, with the consent of India and Pakistan. That is why this issue is on the UN Security Council agenda as well as the bilateral agenda between India and Pakistan.”
Masood Khan firmly rejected characterization—by Indian leaders—of theKashmiri people’s struggle for their inalienable rights as terrorism. “Nor can ‘epicenter of terrorism’ be wrongly located by India to Pakistan, simply because it raises the issue of Jammu and Kashmir in the United Nations,” he pointed out.
Pakistan, he said, was the worst victim of terrorism, whose sources,strategies and execution emanated “from our immediate neighborhood. We demand that all networks to destabilize Pakistan through terror be dismantled forthwith.
“ The Pakistan ambassador called for collective efforts by South Asiannations to defeat terrorism. “As for the exercise of the right to self-determination, Pakistan, the people of Jammu and Kashmir and the United
Nations agree to hold a plebiscite. Only India has to say yes; and engage withPakistan and resolve this issue for all times to come.”
He added, “The two countries owe this to their current and future generations, and to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. We should find a solution based on justice and international legality. Such a historic and bold step would usher in an era of peace, security and harmony in South Asia and beyond.”