Kashmir Dispute: Anti-India Slogans Raised in New York
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan. UN Photo/Cia Pak
Although the United Nations (UN) was silent on Kashmir in the past, now the human rights violations in Kashmir have reached such an alarming peak that the UN has offered to mediate.
By Rakesh Raman
As the dispute between India and Pakistan over Kashmir has reached a point of no return, top Pakistani diplomats—Jalil Abbas Jilani and Dr. Maleeha Lodhi—have decided to mobilize support of the international community in Pakistan’s favour.
According to Associated Press of Pakistan (APP), a government-run news agency, the Ambassador to the United States, Jilani, and permanent representative to the United Nations, Dr. Lodhi addressed a huge gathering of Pakistanis in New York on Sunday.
They reaffirmed Pakistan’s support to the Kashmiri people struggling for their right to self-determination, APP reported, adding that the crowd raised anti-India slogans such as “Kashmir banega Pakistan.”
Dr. Lodhi, according to APP, prayed for the success of Kashmiri people’s epic struggle for their freedom from occupation and said Pakistan was actively pursuing the Kashmir dispute at various forums at the United Nations.
Although the United Nations (UN) was silent on Kashmir in the past, now the state-sponsored human rights violations in Kashmir have reached such an alarming peak that the UN has offered to mediate.
Of late, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon deplored the killings in Kashmir and offered to provide his mediation to facilitate a dialogue between India and Pakistan.
A few days ago, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein expressed deep regret at the failure of Indian and Pakistani authorities to grant the UN Human Rights Office access to Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and Pakistan-administered Kashmir, given the grave concerns about the recent allegations of serious human rights violations.
Zeid had urged India and Pakistan to grant independent observers access to Kashmir. Since the latest outbreak of violence in early July, Zeid has been engaging with both Indian and Pakistani authorities to seek access to the troubled region but the UN human rights team has not been allowed to enter Kashmir.
Kashmir has been facing a series of violent incidents since the killing of a 22-year-old rebel leader Burhan Wani by the Indian security forces on July 8 in an encounter which many believe was avoidable.
Nearly 80 people have died and thousands injured in the conflicts between the supporters of Burhan Wani and the Indian security forces in Kashmir, which is a disputed territory between India, Pakistan, and China.
Although Burhan Wani was branded as a terrorist by the Indian rulers, he was a freedom fighter for the tens of thousands of local Kashmiris. They rallied behind Burhan Wani to face the excesses of security forces who have been given a free hand by the Indian government to deal with all those in Kashmir who demand freedom.
According to APP, Dr. Lodhi told the audience that Pakistan Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif will raise the Kashmir issue when he addresses the UN General Assembly next month.
The Prime Minister, she said, will forcefully reaffirm Pakistan’s stand before over 100 heads of state / government and call for resolving the decades-old dispute to pave the way to peace in the region.