Wednesday, September 19, 2018 | 4:48 PM

Kashmir UN’s most persistent failure, India committed first ‘mass blinding in human history’: Pakistan at UN

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Asserting that the United Nations’ agenda of decolonisation will remain incomplete without resolving the Kashmir issue, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, devoted a significant part of her speech to Kashmir while addressing the General Assembly’s Special Political and Decolonisation (Fourth) Committee on Monday.

Lodhi called the aggressive use of pellet guns against peaceful protestors in occupied Kashmir as the “first mass blinding in human history.” She said India was committing war crimes that have left the young generation of Kashmiris sightless and maimed for life.

“This has been aptly described as the first mass blinding in human history,” said the Pakistani ambassador according to an official press release.

She said that the decolonisation agenda of the UN will remain unfulfilled without peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue. “This represents the most persistent failure of the United Nations,” she stated.

She said that for 70 years, India had been preventing Kashmiris from exercising their fundamental and inalienable right to self-determination through “force and fraud”.

According to the press release, she said that the deployment of tens of thousands of Indian troops in the occupied territory is primarily aimed at suppressing the legitimate freedom of the people.

“India uses all methods from barbaric violence and extreme cruelty to fraudulent elections to deprive the Kashmiris of their right to self-determination and perpetuate its unlawful occupation,” she stated.

The people of Jammu and Kashmir will continue to wage the struggle for their right to self-determination with courage and conviction, said the Pakistani envoy.

Ambassador Lodhi asked the UN to fulfil its promise of holding a UN-supervised plebiscite in order “to enable Kashmiris to determine their political destiny”.

She said that the continued existence of colonialism in any form was contrary to the UN Charter and to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“The UN has a moral responsibility in this regard and we must all work toward eliminating the remaining vestiges of colonialism,” she said in her concluding remarks.

India’s minister in the Permanent Mission, Srinivas Prasad, said in his speech, “We reject the efforts of the delegation of Pakistan to bring issues which have never been on the agenda of this committee ever in its history.”

“We consider it a diversion from the agenda and as a distraction not worthy of a response,” Prasad said.

“Even as all those who have taken the floor have focused on issues of these Non Self-Governing Territories, a solitary member State, as usual, has ventured to plough a lonely furrow contrary to the onward march of history,” Prasad said.

Exercising the right of reply to Prasad’s speech, Saima Sayed, a counsellor at Pakistan’s UN Mission, once again called the attention of UN to the 1948 Security Council resolution on Kashmir.

India did not use its right to reply to Sayed.