Kashmiris Determined to Continue Freedom Struggle Despite Indian Suppression: Maleeha Lodhi

New York, 14 July, 2016

At the UN Pakistan strongly condemned the atrocities committed by Indian forces in occupied Kashmir and called for implementation of Security Council resolutions on Kashmir.

Speaking in the UN General Assembly’s High Level Debate on Human Rights, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said that the denial of self determination to the people of Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir has resulted in the most "atrocious human rights violations including rape, torture, arbitrary detentions and summary executions."

“Its most chilling recent example is the extra-judicial killing last week of Kashmiri leader, Burhan Wani, shot to death by Indian forces along with scorer of other innocent Kashmiris”, she asserted.

Ambassador Lodhi said that occupation forces in Indian held Jammu and Kashmir were resorting to these brutal acts to suppress the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people, promised to them by several UN Security Council resolutions.

The Pakistani envoy told the world body that despite Indian suppression, the Kashmiri people are determined to continue their struggle for freedom from foreign occupation.

“Sixty-eight years after the UN Security Council first called for a UN conducted plebiscite to allow the Kashmiri people to exercise their right to self-determination, the fulfillment of this pledge remains the only way to resolve this long-standing dispute and establish durable peace and security in South Asia”.

Highlighting the importance of the inalienable right to self-determination, Dr. Lodhi said that self-determination enables the fulfillment of all other human rights in the political and socio-economic spheres. “Universal realization of the right to self-determination will help to resolve several conflicts and prevent the violation of human rights in different parts of the world”, she added.

Ambassador Lodhi regretted that despite the adoption of the historic covenants on ‘Civil and Political Rights’ and ‘Economic, Social and Cultural Rights’ half a century back the promise of these landmark covenants were yet to translate into reality.

“Millions around the world face abject poverty and hunger, malnutrition and disease, ignorance and illiteracy, and lack the very basic amenities of life. At the same time, wars and conflicts have inflicted untold misery and suffering on people and unleashed the worst refugee crisis since the end of the Second World War”, she added.

Pakistan called for pursuit of the agenda of human rights in a balanced manner with equal focus on civil and political and economic and social rights, arguing that experience indicates that these rights are inextricably linked and interdependent, and cannot be achieved in isolation.

Pakistan also called for de-politicizing the human rights agenda as human rights violations were taking place in all parts of the world. “The tabling of country-specific resolutions without concurrence of the country concerned has often proven to be counterproductive”, she added.

Ambassador Lodhi urged the world body to give priority attention to prevention of wars and conflicts and finding political resolution of existing conflicts. She argued that human rights cannot be guaranteed in situations of turmoil and conflict as armed conflicts provide fertile ground for the most egregious forms human rights violations.