Pakistan, India clash at UN after Bilawal blasts Delhi’s abuses in Occupied Kashmir

By: News Desk
Published: 12:51 PM, 20 May, 2022
Pakistan, India clash at UN after Bilawal blasts Delhi’s abuses in Occupied Kashmir
Caption: TV grab.
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Delegates of Pakistan and India got into a fresh verbal duel in the UN Security Council ministerial-level meeting on food security, after Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari denounced New Delhi’s repressive actions in Occupied Kashmir, saying it is “implementing a racist policy” in the disputed territory.

The Indian delegate to the UN reacted to FM Bilawal’s pointed words, claiming that Kashmir was an integral part of India and accusing Pakistan of being involved in terrorism.

Exercising his right of reply, Pakistan’s delegate Imran Khan rejected India’s claim that Jammu and Kashmir was its part. “Jammu and Kashmir is not and has never been a part of India,” Khan, a counsellor in the Pakistan mission to the UN, said, adding that any official UN map can verify that the Himalayan state is “disputed territory”.

“As stipulated in the Security Council resolution 47(1948), the ‘final disposition’ of the State of Jammu and Kashmir is to be decided by the people of Jammu & Kashmir through a fair and impartial plebiscite, to be held under UN auspices,” he said.

Pointing out that India had accepted the UN Security Council resolutions, but he said they remain to be implemented. “India’s refusal to do so, for over seven decades now, constitutes a flagrant and continuing violation of the Security Council resolutions, of the UN Charter, and the international law,” the Pakistani delegate said.

“The Indian government’s unilateral and illegal actions of 5 August 2019, to rob occupied Jammu and Kashmir of its identity, to oppress its people with 900,000 occupying troops and to change Jammu & Kashmir’s demography from a Muslim majority state to a Hindu majority state have narrowed the space for dialogue on Jammu and Kashmir.”

As regards India’s allegations regarding terrorism, the Pakistani delegate said that they are nothing but a smokescreen to conceal state terrorism against the Kashmiri people.

History bears testimony that colonizers and occupiers often attempt to justify their suppression of legitimate struggles for self-determination and freedom by portraying them as “terrorism”.

But, he said, nothing will dampen the indomitable spirits of Kashmiris to seek their inalienable right to self-determination.

“Pakistan will continue to expose India’s ‘State terrorism’ and it’s oppression against the people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” delegate Imran Khan said.

“We will continue to call for a just solution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the resolutions of the Security Council and wishes of the Kashmiri people.”

Bilawal’s salvo

On Thursday, Bilawal said there was little scope for dialogue with India as he denounced actions by the historic rival in Occupied Kashmir. Bilawal, visiting the United Nations weeks after his appointment under a new government, said it was difficult to deal with a country that is "implementing a racist policy in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir."

"Having said that, we are very cognizant of the fact that economic activity, dialogue, diplomacy are ultimately the ways and means for countries to engage with each other and resolve disputes," he told reporters. "I just note that, particularly at the moment, given this aggressive, hostile behaviour, the practical space for that happening is very limited," he said.

Bilawal also complained about India's recent redrawing of electoral constituencies that critics say dilutes Muslims' vote in the Himalayan territory.

Bilawal on his way home

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari left for Islamabad after a whirlwind three-day trip to New York during which he participated in high-level US-convened meetings on food security, which has been exacerbated by Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine, and interacted with some key diplomats.

The foreign minister was seen off by Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations Munir Akram and Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Masood Khan, as well as Pakistan’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Aamir Khan.

He went through a tightly-laid schedule on his first major foray in international diplomacy after assuming the post of foreign minister in the new coalition cabinet.

During his stay, Bilawal held talks with the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the President of UN General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid and a number of foreign ministers, including Italy and Turkey during which he highlighted Pakistan’s perspective and policy priorities.