A Befitting Response

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During the 76th United Nations General Assembly session on Friday, Pakistan firmly pushed back against India’s disingenuous claims that Indian Illegally-Occupied Jammu and Kashmir was its integral part, saying the Himalayan state was an internationally recognised disputed territory. Time and again, India has used such rhetoric at multilateral forums to avoid any substantial discussion on the dire situation in IIOJK by claiming that it is an internal issue which is being dealt with. We must ensure that a befitting reply is always forthcoming whenever New Delhi attempts to mislead the international community and sidestep this issue.

Pakistani delegate Saima Saleem should be lauded for her reply where she unequivocally set the record straight by stating that IIOJK is neither an integral part of India, nor is it an internal matter. She rightfully reminded the audience that India continues to occupy an internationally recognised disputed territory, whose final disposition needs to be decided in accordance with the democratic principle of a free and impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices. The Indian delegate, Sneha Dubey, while exercising her right of reply to PM Imran Khan’s statement, made false allegations regarding Pakistan’s involvement in terrorism. This is now expected of India at such forums however it should not be able to get away with fabricating such narratives. Ms. Saleem seized the opportunity and pointed out that India’s use of the canard of terrorism, regurgitating stale arguments are typical of all oppressors. She further added that New Delhi is itself the principal perpetrator, sponsor, financier and abettor of terrorism in the region.

India’s patronage of terror groups has been outlined in detail in the recently released dossier on IIOJK. During his recent meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi apprised the UN chief of the dire situation in IIOJK and also presented the dossier which documents systematic and widespread human rights violations, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide perpetrated by the Indian occupying forces.

Pakistan must continue raising this issue on all available diplomatic forums so that the international community is reminded of the oppression being carried out against innocent Kashmiris. The true nature of India’s actions has been revealed; the onus is now upon all states to uphold the humanitarian values they preach and seriously consider the overwhelming amounts of proof given to warrant official action or intervention within IIOJK.

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