Statement by Ambassador Munir Akram, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, New York, at the Ministerial-level UN Security Council's Open Debate on "Maintenance of International Peace and Security Upholding the United Nations Charter" on 9th January 2020

Mr. President,

It is a pleasure to participate in this timely Security Council debate on international peace and security.

Mr. President,

The world order established 75 years ago on the basis of the fundamental principles of the UN Charter is rapidly eroding today.

Resort to unilateral force and external intervention is becoming ever more frequent. Foreign occupation is often tolerated. Conflicts, among and within nations, have proliferated. The ideologies of hate-Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, fascism – have reemerged. Old and new political and military blocs are being resurrected or constructed. A new and destabilizing global arms race is underway. World trade and growth are declining under the weight of trade and technology wars. International cooperation to address global challenges, like poverty and climate change, is eroding. The United Nations is often deliberately marginalized.

Mr. President,

Pakistan has a vital stake in the preservation and promotion of a structure of world peace and cooperation built on the foundations of the UN Charter. My Government seeks to build a structure of sustainable peace with our neighbors.

Mr. President,

For over a decade, Prime Minister Imran Khan has advocated a political not a military solution in Afghanistan. We are gratified that this has become the consensus objective of the international community. Pakistan hopes the US-Taliban talks, which we have facilitated, will soon result in an agreement that enables the withdrawal of foreign forces, a cessation of violence, a comprehensive intra-Afghan dialogue and the elimination of terrorism from Afghanistan.

Mr. President,

Prime Minister Imran Khan has also deployed personal efforts to reduce tensions in the Gulf region. Pakistan will not become party to any regional conflict. We will always be a partner for peace.

Mr. President,

Recent events have amplified the multiple and complex threats to peace and security in the Middle East: denial of self-determination to the Palestinian people and disruption of the sovereignty and stability of Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

Mr. President,

The unilateral measures imposed on Indian-occupied Jammu & Kashmir on 5 August last year constituted a first step in the plan of the BJP-RSS Hindu supremist government to suppress Muslims and eliminate all vestiges of Islam from “Bharat Mata” (Mother India).

It is now over 150 days that 8 million people in the Kashmir Valley have been kept under a cruel curfew and a communication blackout by an Indian occupation force of 900,000 troops. All Kashmiri leaders remain in jails across India. Thousands of young boys have been abducted, arbitrarily detained, tortured and maimed; women subjected to sexual harassment, humiliation and intimidation, and all protest violently suppressed.

India’s claims that normalcy has been restored in occupied Kashmir are false and duplicitous. My delegation has circulated a dossier of reports filed by independent journalists and observers which vividly illustrate the climate of fear and the reign of terror that India has imposed on the Kashmiri people.

Mr. President,

To divert attention from its oppression in occupied Kashmir, and its domestic problems arising from the imposition of its Islamophobic citizenship laws, the Modi Government may initiate another military adventure against Pakistan. The signals from India of aggressive intent towards Pakistan are unmistakable.

Mr. President,

India has issued new “political maps” which lay claim not only to Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, but also Pakistan-administered Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. India’s Foreign Minister has boasted that they will, one day, take “physical control” of this territory as well.

India committed over 3000 ceasefire violations along the LoC in 2019. It has cut the fencing in 5 places and deployed Spike anti-tank and Brahmos cruise missiles along the LoC.

The incoming Indian Army Chief has claimed the “right” to a preemptive attack against so-called Pakistan “terrorist camps”. India could stage another “false flag” incident to create a casus belli for an attack.

India’s military doctrine envisages fighting a “limited war (with Pakistan) under the nuclear overhang”. It has built the capacity for a so-called “Cold Start” (surprise) strike across the Pakistan-India border.

On 18 August 2019, the Indian Defense Minister held out a thinly disguised threat of a preemptive nuclear strike against Pakistan.

Mr. President,

Pakistan does not want war with India. But, as we demonstrated last February, if attacked, Pakistan will respond resolutely and effectively. The February aerial exchanges were contained due to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s gesture to unilaterally return the Indian pilot we captured after shooting down 2 Indian fighter aircraft. We may not be fortunate next time, if India initiates another conflict.

Mr. President,

Pakistan requests on the Security Council, and the Secretary General, to act decisively to prevent a disastrous war between Pakistan and India; to call for an end to the grave human rights violations in occupied Jammu and Kashmir, and to enable the Kashmiri people to exercise their right to self-determination promised to them in the resolutions of this Council.

I thank you.