Pakistan calls for an end to impunity by Indian occupation forces in Kashmir

New York, 07 October, 2019

Pakistan told the UN of the cruel and persisting lockdown imposed by India in occupied Kashmir and the brutalities that have exacerbated the suffering of women and children there, describing this as an unacceptable situation which must be brought to an end.

Speaking in the General Assembly’s Third Committee, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, lashed out at occupation forces in Jammu and Kashmir which she said are responsible for taking children away in the dead and darkness of the night. “They are then held incommunicado and some children never return”, she added.

The theme of the UN’s Third Committee discussion was the Advancement of Women. The Pakistani envoy took advantage of this topic to draw attention to the plight of women and their families living under foreign occupation and urged the international community to ensure that their rights are respected and guaranteed.

Ambassador Lodhi said this held especially true for women living in occupied Kashmir where the continuing curfew has compounded their pain and suffering.

She said the anguish of a Kashmiri mother had been captured by a heart wrenching picture published in Monday’s New York Times on its front page - a mother who could not save the life of her son because of the brutal restrictions imposed on the occupied territory and her inability to call an ambulance.

Ambassador Lodhi termed the dire situation in occupied Kashmir unacceptable and called on the relevant UN actors to live up to their responsibility and put an end to this impunity.

Turning to the steps taken at national level to advance women’s rights, Ambassador Lodhi said that Pakistan’s constitution guaranteed equal rights for all citizens without any discrimination and ensures full participation of women in all spheres of national life.

Ambassador Lodhi told the 193 member UNGA Committee that in accordance with Pakistan’s national and international obligations, policies were being put in place to promote the rights of women in the economic, social, political and cultural fields.

She said that Pakistan’s adherence to the ideals of empowering women and protecting their rights stems from its faith, the country’s constitution and the vision of our founding fathers.

The Pakistani envoy qouted Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah who famously said, “No nation can rise to the height of glory unless women are side by side with men”.

Ambassador Lodhi said that concrete steps were being taken in Pakistan to eliminate discrimination from the public and private sectors to promote the empowerment of women.

She concluded by reiterating Pakistan’s firm commitment to the goal of empowering women in all situations to create a more just, equitable and peaceful world.

“Pakistan will continue to strive towards the achievement of these ideals at both the domestic and international level”, she added.