Message from Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to UN on Kashmir Black Day

New York, 27 October, 2107

As we observe black day to mark the illegal Indian occupation of Jammu and Kashmir seventy years ago, we should remember that every day under occupation is a black day for the Kashmiri people. For them, this darkness can only end by an end to occupation.

October 27 has become a somber milestone in the unremitting tale of pain and suffering of generations of Kashmiri men, women and children.

The Indian occupation of Jammu and Kashmir is not only a travesty of justice and legality, it is also a betrayal of the legitimate right of the Kashmiri people to determine their own destiny.

A number of UN Security Council resolutions have promised the Kashmiris their right to self-determination. Despite Indian attempts at obfuscation, diversion and deceit, these resolutions are neither dated nor irrelevant, for law has no expiry date; morality has no sell-by date.

The Kashmiris have waged a heroic and popular struggle to rid themselves of Indian occupation. India has used massive and indiscriminate force to suppress this indigenous freedom struggle. Hundreds of innocent Kashmiris have been martyred in the recent wave of protests; countless others have been blinded and maimed through shotgun pellets, in what has rightly been described as the first ‘mass blinding’ in human history.

Yet, the Kashmiris remain resolute in their demand for freedom. Under the shadow of bayonets, they hold a plebiscite every day, demanding that India leave Jammu and Kashmir.

The International community must hold India accountable for the grave human rights violations in occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan has called on the UN Secretary General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights to send an inquiry commission to occupied Kashmir to verify the nature and extent of India’s human rights violations, secure the punishment of those responsible and provide justice and relief to the victims. This is a call for action that is both imperative as well as urgent.

The people of Pakistan will continue to extend political, diplomatic and moral support to the legitimate cause of the Kashmiri people. A peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions is also a pre-requisite for lasting peace and stability in South Asia.