UNITED NATIONS - Pakistani and Indian delegates engaged in a verbal duel at the UN, after Pakistan’s Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar drew the world community’s attention to the unresolved Kashmir dispute and to India’s grave human rights abuses in the occupied territory. Indian delegate Petal Gahlot reacted to the prime minister’s reference to the deteriorating situation in Jammu and Kashmir during the general debate at the 78th session of the UN General Assembly, claiming that the disputed Himalayan state is an integral part of India. “Pakistan has no locus standi to comment on our domestic matters,” she asserted.
Ms. Gahlot also accused Pakistan of involvement in terrorism and urged Islamabad to concern itself with the “deplorable” conditions of minorities and women in the country. Pakistan’s delegate Saima Saleem hit back. She rejected India’s claim that Jammu and Kashmir was its integral part, saying “It never was, it never will be.”
The UN Security Council has affirmed that the final disposition of the territory will be decided by a plebiscite, which India accepted under Article 25 of the Charter of the United Nations. India, she said, had failed to implement the UNSC resolutions ,”through fraud and force”, and suppressed Kashmiri demands for the right to self-determination by imposing occupation and, on 5 August 2019, annexing Jammu and Kashmir.
The Pakistani delegate said that the entire Kashmiri population has been the victim of India’s brutal tactics.
“A classic colonial-settler project is underway,” Ms. Saleem said.
The Kashmiri freedom struggle not terrorism, she said, adding that the resistance to foreign occupation is “just and legal” under international law. “It is India’s oppression that is illegal,” the Pakistani delegate said.
India must be held responsible for its war crimes in the territory; it is not a victim but a serial sponsor of terrorism against each of its neighbours, Ms.Saleem stressed. “Now, India’s terrorist franchise has gone global,” she said in an obvious reference to the killing of a Sikh leader on Canadian soil, a murder in which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau the Indian state was involved. The Pakistani delegate also called for removing India’s sense of immunity, while urging the world to stop giving that country a free pass for strategic reasons.