Islamabad said on Friday that the United Nations Security Council meeting has proven Indian-administered Kashmir as an internationally disputed territory.
The UNSC held on Friday its first meeting on the territory in nearly half a century, with tensions soaring over New Delhi’s move to strip the disputed region of its autonomy.
The meeting began as Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke with US President Donald Trump, who last month controversially offered to mediate in the seven-decade old Kashmir dispute between the nuclear-armed rivals.
New Delhi ended the autonomous status of its portion of the Muslim-majority territory in the first week of August, stepping up movement restrictions and cutting off phone and internet access to head off civil unrest, and igniting calls from Pakistan for the international community to intervene.
“Pakistan welcomes this meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir,” said Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations, while briefing the press after the meeting.
She said the meeting was called on the request of Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. “He asked for this meeting in a letter that I communicated to the president of the Security Council.”
“The voice of the people of occupied Kashmir has been heard today in the highest diplomatic forum. They are not alone,” Lodhi said.
“Their plight, their hardship, their pain, their suffering, the occupation and the consequences of that occupation have been heard in the UNSC today.”
She said the fact that this meeting took place “is a testimony to the fact that this is an internationally recognised dispute.
“The meeting has reaffirmed the validity of the UNSC resolutions on the occupied state of Jammu and Kashmir,” the Pakistani diplomat said.
“As far as my country is concerned, we stand ready for a peaceful settlement of the dispute.”
She said the meeting also nullified India’s claim that Jammu and Kashmir was its “internal matter”.
“Today the whole world is discussing the occupied state and the situation there,” Lodhi said.
She said the UNSC discussed the “abysmal human rights situation in occupied Kashmir, with violations carried out with impunity by India”.
“This is the first step that we have taken on behalf of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” she quoted Foreign Minister Qureshi as telling her on phone.
“This is the first and not the last step. It will not end here, it will only end when justice is done to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”
Lodhi further stated: “In conclusion, I only want to say what I started with, the people of Jammu and Kashmir may be locked up, their voices may not be heard in their own homes and in their own land, but their voices were heard today at the United Nations.
“And their voices will always be heard, because Pakistan will always stand by them extending full diplomatic and political support,” she said.
The Pakistani diplomat also expressed her gratitude to the UNSC members for taking up the issue.
“This is the first time in over 50 years that this issue has been deliberated upon by the Security Council. I thank you all,” she concluded.
‘India buried its rhetoric on Kashmir’
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said a “comprehensive discussion” took place today at the UNSC meeting.
“I feel pleased to inform that Indian efforts were rejected and the meeting was held,” Qureshi said at a press conference in Islamabad.
He elaborated that New Delhi built up its case on two points: Kashmir is an internal matter and that there is no need to discuss it at the UNSC.
“With this meeting, the world today admitted that Kashmir issue is an internationally recognised dispute and its resolution is needed,” the minister said.
He said the UN secretary general maintains that Kashmir issue can be resolved through the UN charter and “applicable” UNSC resolutions.
Qureshi further said that India itself buried its rhetoric that Kashmir is a bilateral issue by taking unilateral actions in the disputed Himalayan territory.