United Nations, November 1: Jammu and Kashmir has never been on the UN agenda of ‘Right of Peoples to Self-determination’ and Pakistan has been making “frantic attempts” to gain credibility for its “territorial greed”, India said in a strong response to Islamabad at a General Assembly committee after it raked up the Kashmir issue.
Pakistan’s outgoing UN envoy Maleeha Lodhi raked up the Kashmir issue at a General Assembly committee, which deals with social, humanitarian affairs and human rights issues, saying Kashmiris have been waiting for their inalienable right to self-determination as promised by 11 Security Council resolutions. “The agenda of the right of peoples to self-determination, however, has been sought to be misused once again by one delegation, by conflating it with another situation that does not pertain to the decolonisation or foreign domination context. “This delegation has been making frantic attempts to gain credibility for its territorial greed and has demonstrated no hesitation in sabotaging this important agenda by callously referring to Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral part of India,” First Secretary in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN Paulomi Tripathi said Wednesday during the General Assembly’s Third Committee discussion on ‘Right of peoples to self-determination.’ Tripathi retorted, saying the “truth is that the issue of Jammu and Kashmir has never been on the United Nations ‘Right of peoples to self-determination’ agenda.” “A cursory reading of the document contained in A/74/309 makes it clear that the agenda for self-determination, as envisaged by the UN, does not include Jammu and Kashmir,” she said, making a reference to the Report of the Secretary-General on the universal realisation of the right of peoples to self-determination.
Tripathi asserted that even the UN Security Council resolutions that “this delegation” has a penchant for invoking have never framed Jammu and Kashmir as a self-determination issue in the UN parlance.
“This Committee, therefore, has been cautious against such attempts of letting this forum being misused for propaganda,” she said.
In her remarks, Tripathi also noted that India, as a former colony, has always been in the forefront at the United Nations in supporting the right of peoples to self-determination. “Self-determination in the UN context refers to the rights of people that have been colonised or continue to be under foreign domination. It clearly refers to the peoples of non self-governing territories or trust territories,” she said.
Further, she said the UN has established that the principle of self-determination is a vehicle for decolonisation, not a justification for secession or undermining territorial integrity of any Member State. While substantial progress has been achieved in implementing this agenda, some situations continue to be unresolved. “In this context, India strongly supports to the right of self-determination of Palestinian people,” she said.
Tripathi voiced concern that in an interconnected world, social media has emerged a platform for amplifying racial hatred and discriminatory ideas what were otherwise fringe opinions. “This trend, if unchecked, can challenge social cohesion. States must intensify efforts to prevent and combat racial hatred and discrimination, taking into consideration the balance between safeguarding freedom of expression and advocacy of hatred leading to racial discrimination and violence,” she said, adding that partnerships with private sector and civil society are critical in this context. (PTI)