India Pakistan spar over Kashmir

New York: Sparring over Kashmir at the UN General Assembly, India and Pakistan have again exchanged verbal volleys over the issue with the Indian delegate dubbing the remarks of his Pakistani counterpart as “unsolicited comments” that were “factually incorrect”.

According to a summary on the UN website of a meeting in the General Assembly’s Third Committee that deals with social, humanitarian and cultural issues, Pakistani delegate Diyar Khan raised the issue of Kashmir by saying he regretted that the people of Jammu and Kashmir had been “deprived of their right to self-determination.”

Participating in the session on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and right to self-determination here on Monday, Khan said the right to self-determination must be exercised in an environment free from coercion or duress, as electoral processes held in situations of foreign occupation or alien domination did not reflect people’s true wishes.

He said self-determination did not lapse with the passage of time and neither could it be “set aside” by charges of terrorism.

Indian delegate Mayank Joshi stressed that Pakistan’s “unsolicited comments” pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir were “factually incorrect”, according to the meeting’s summary. He said free, fair and open elections were regularly held in that territory at all levels.

Joshi said India was a multi-religious, multi-ethnic and multi-lingual society, fully committed to the goal of eliminating all forms of discrimination.

Exercising the Right of Reply, the Pakistani representative said that the Indian delegation had “alleged” that Jammu and Kashmir was part of India.

He refuted this assertion made by India saying that the UN Security Council had adopted several resolutions declaring Jammu and Kashmir as a “disputed territory”.

Khan claimed that the elections in Jammu and Kashmir had been rejected by the United Nations and the Kashmiri people.

Resolutions had clarified that no electoral exercise conducted by the Indian authorities could be a substitute for a free plebiscite held by the United Nations, he said.

Speaking in the exercise of the right of reply, the Indian representative said the elections in Jammu and Kashmir had been held under the scrutiny of international media which had not faulted those elections.

Taking the floor for a second time, the representative of Pakistan said the elections held under foreign occupation could not be a substitute to impartial elections.

Joshi noted that the references of Pakistani delegation were out of context.


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