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UNGA: Saima Saleem strikes back at India in fiery speech

She spoke using braille

SAMAA | - Posted: Sep 26, 2021 | Last Updated: 4 weeks ago
Posted: Sep 26, 2021 | Last Updated: 4 weeks ago

Saima Saleem won Pakistan's hearts Saturday after hitting back at India in a potent speech using braille for the first at the United Nations General Assembly.

"Kashmir is not the so-called integral part of India nor is it India's internal matter," she said, in a befitting response to India’s First Secretary Sneha Dubey.

"India remains in occupation of an internationally recognised disputed territory whose final disposition needs to be decided in accordance with the democratic principle of a free and impartial plebiscite under UN auspices, as provided for under numerous resolutions of the Security Council," the Pakistani diplomat argued.

She said that India was tactfully leveling baseless allegations against Pakistan to divert human rights violations in Kashmir.

"We [Pakistan] call upon the international community to take cognisance of the compelling evidence and hold India accountable for the heinous crimes. If India has nothing to hide, it must accept a UN commission of inquiry and agree to implement the Security Council resolutions stipulating a plebiscite to enable the people of Jammu and Kashmir to exercise their right to self-determination," she added.

Saleem's strong speech was appreciated by leaders across the country.

Munir Akram, Pakistan's permanent representative at the UN, congratulated the diplomat. "I congratulate Saima Saleem, my team member, for successfully putting forward Pakistan's position by exercising the right of reply."

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry lauded Saleem for making Pakistan proud. "Saima is visually impaired but the way she spoke seems her heart can see everything, you have made us proud."

Who is Saima Saleem?

Saleem is the first visually impaired Civil Servant of Pakistan. She completed her law degree from the University of Geneva in 2019 and has an MPhil in English Literature.

She has received multiple awards such as the Fatima Jinnah Gold Medal and the Quaid-E-Azam Gold Medal.


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