By Arul Louis
United Nations: The UN’s unfinished agenda item is tackling terrorism emanating from its epicentre in Pakistan, India has said here replying to Pakistan bringing up the Kashmir issue at the international organisation’s 75th Anniversary Commemoration session.
Vidisha Maitra, a First Secretary at India’s UN mission, said on Monday: “If there is an item that is unfinished on the agenda of the UN, it is that of tackling the scourge of terrorism.”
“Pakistan is a country which is globally recognised epicentre of terrorism, which by its own admission harbours and trains terrorists and hails them as martyrs, and consistently persecutes its ethnic and religious minorities,” she said.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had criticised the UN asserting that the Kashmir issue was among its “most glaring and long-standing failures” and that the organisation was being “derided as a ‘talk shop’.”
“The people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir still await fulfillment of the commitment made to them by the United Nations to grant them their right to self-determination,” he added.
Unlike Qureshi whose speech was pre-recorded, Maitra spoke on the floor of the General Assembly chamber.
Maitra said, “What we heard today is the never-ending fabricated narrative presented by the Pakistani representative about the internal affairs of India. We reject the malicious reference made to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral part of India.”
She said that from “a nation that is bereft of milestones, one can only expect a stonewalled and stymied approach to reason, diplomacy and dialogue.”
Pakistan “would do well turn its attention inwards to immediately addressing these pressing concerns, instead of misusing UN platforms to divert attention from them by misusing UN platforms,” she added.
Noting that it was the 75th anniversary commemoration, Maitra said that it had been hoped that at the “solemn commemoration of a shared global milestone, the General Assembly would be spared another repetition of the baseless falsehoods that have now become a trademark of Pakistan’s interventions on such platforms”.
While the heads of state or government addressed the UN, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan stayed away and instead had Qureshi send in the canned speech.
Qureshi bracketed Kashmir with the Palestine issue hoping to garner Arab sympathy.
But his voice was a lonely one, with Turkey and Malaysia, which had brought up Kashmir at last year’s High Level session of the General Assembly, not mentioning it on Monday.
Qureshi turned his ire on the world organisation, saying, “Today, the UN is derided as a ‘talk shop’; its resolutions and decisions are flouted; international cooperation, especially in the Security Council, is at its lowest; force is threatened with abandon.”
He said, “Other countries, subscribing to fascist ideologies, flout UN principles and claim privileged status at the high table only by virtue of size, strength and a misplaced sense of entitlement.”
Although he did not specify which countries he was referring to, that could apply to Pakistan’s patron China, which in pursuit of its ideology of Han racial superiority has crushed the Uighur people forcing them to give up their ethnic and religious identities.
The reason why the UN did not go along with Security Council’s the “self-determination” plan for Kashmir is that Pakistan flouted the Council’s Resolution 47 demanding that it withdraw its troops and personnel from Kashmir.
(Arul Louis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter at @arulouis)
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