Hinas speech at UN

Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has spoken about the Kashmir problem in her speech at the United Nations General Assembly, thereby making India uncomfortable once again, and making it contemplate the failure of its wish that the matter not be mentioned. However, India must be seeking some consolation in Ms Khars characterisation of the issue as not likely to jeopardise the Pak-India dialogue process which had begun again recently, but though she was right to mention Kashmir as a UN dispute, she should have used the world forum to educate the international community about the fact that even now India is maintaining illegal occupation of part of Kashmir without allowing its people the exercise of that right of self-determination which it has agreed to under the UN resolutions that Ms Khar mentioned. The resolutions which also specify that the determination is to be made through a UN-supervised plebiscite held for the purpose. The process of educating the world community should not be left to the Foreign Minister, and while the UN is the appropriate forum, the right persons would be the Pakistani permanent delegation, headed by the Permanent Representative, who should remember the duty of Pakistan to provide the Kashmiri people the diplomatic support they need in their freedom struggle. The delegation should devote the entire year to projecting the plight of the Kashmiri people. This is especially important at this juncture of the Kashmiri freedom struggle, when the Kashmiri people are laying down their lives to prevent any further occupation, a determination shown by the recent discovery of mass graves in Kashmir, something which needs to be highlighted as widely as possible, and for which the UNGA was an appropriate opportunity. The Kashmiri sufferings outweigh diplomatic niceties, and it has fallen to Pakistan to ensure that these sufferings are kept before the world community. The Foreign Minister should look back at this General Assembly, her first, and judge it by how far she was able to advance the Kashmir cause.

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