Pakistan building diplomatic pressure in effort to resolve Kashmir: Maleeha Lodhi

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Pakistan is working hard to turn up diplomatic pressure on India to move towards resolving the Kashmir dispute based on United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions that call for an internationally-supervised plebiscite for Kashmiris to decide their future, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi has said.

“To that end, we have raised and continue to raise this decades-old dispute at all forms of the United Nations (UN),” she told a largely-attended meeting held at Pakistan House . The meeting was held to mark the anniversary of Indian occupation of Kashmir that began on October 27, 1947, and is known as “Black Day”.

Pakistan Ambassador to United Nations Maleeha Lodhi gives her statement on world’s refugee population at UN. —APPPakistan Ambassador to United Nations Maleeha Lodhi gives her statement on world’s refugee population at UN. —APP

She said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif set the pace when he addressed the UN General Assembly’s high-level session in September and made a clarion call for the grant of UN-pledged right of self-determination to the people of Kashmir and “an end to the atrocities let loose by Indian security forces in occupied Kashmir”.

The prime minister also proposed a four-point ‘new peace initiative’ including demilitarising Kashmir and Siachen, and formalising the 2003 ceasefire, describing these as the “simplest” measures to implement towards peace between the two countries.

The Pakistan delegation to the UN kept up the momentum by focusing the international community’s attention to human rights violations in Kashmir and the people’s struggle for freedom from Indian yoke, she told the meeting, which was organised by Pakistani consulate in New York.

Lodhi said that before coming to New York to take up her assignment in February, she had met leaders of all political parties and had found complete consensus among them on the need to step up efforts at the UN for a resolution of the Kashmir dispute.

Pakistan, she said, would continue to steadfastly support the struggle of the Kashmiri people for freedom and self-determination as it has consistently done in the past. “We’ll always stand by the people of Kashmir,” she said.

On the occasion, Consul General Raja Ali Ejaz talked about the Kashmir dispute and reiterated Pakistan’s pledge to extend its moral, political and diplomatic support to the people of Kashmir.

Other speakers included Rohail Dar, president of PML-N, USA, Capt. Shaheen Butt, who heads the Kashmir Mission and Sardar Sawar Khan, a former member of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Council.

They paid tribute to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s efforts to breathe new life into the Kashmir dispute. As part of those efforts, it was pointed out that he spoke for the rights of the Kashmiri people in the General Assembly and highlighted the issue during his talks with the world leaders.

The speakers denounced the large-scale human rights violations taking place in occupied Kashmir and urged the international community to help resolve the dispute in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people.

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