UN Decolonization Agenda incomplete without solving Kashmir dispute: Maleeha

New York, 16 October, 2018

At the UN Pakistan said the UN’s decolonization agenda would remain incomplete without resolution of the long festering dispute of Jammu and Kashmir.

Speaking in the General Debate of the Fourth Committee of the General Assembly on Decolonization Issues, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, said that the right of Kashmiri people to self-determination was recognized by several Security Council resolutions, but the UN’s inability to deliver on this pledge continues to represent the world body’s most persistent failure.

She argued that the decolonization agenda was not limited to Non-Self-Governing Territories alone but also encompassed other peoples, living under alien occupation and foreign domination.

The people of Jammu and Kashmir, she said, were still waiting for the fulfillment of the promise of holding a UN-supervised plebiscite to enable them to determine their political destiny. To deny this right and perpetuate its unlawful occupation, India has unleashed a reign of terror and employed the most brutal violence, Ambassador Lodhi added.

“The future of Jammu and Kashmir should and must be determined in accordance with UN SC resolutions”, she stressed and pointed out that this was, “the demand of law, morality and the dictate of the fundamental right to self-determination.”

Ambassador Lodhi also referred to the recent Report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, that had documented in detail the gross human rights violations committed by India to suppress the legitimate freedom struggle of Kashmiri people.

Underlying the significance of the work of the Committee, Dr. Lodhi said that political and socio-economic progress of people is imperiled and retarded under foreign occupation and alien domination. “While we deliberate”, she said, “more than one generation has not had the opportunity to experience and enjoy the freedom that we all take for granted.”

The desperation and hopelessness of people living under alien or colonial subjugation doesn’t just deserve our attention and empathy, it should also be a call for action,” she said.

Ambassador Lodhi called for a concerted effort by both the General Assembly and the Security Council for uniform and non-discriminatory implementation of resolutions and decisions on decolonization and foreign occupation. “Selective application”, she underscored, “only erodes the confidence of the international community, undermines the credibility of the UN system, and encourages a culture of impunity.” Law must prevail over arbitrary power, and Right must prevail over Might, she added.