Pakistan says Kashmiris’ struggle for self-determination should not be compared with terrorism

Pakistan told the United Nations Security Council “Arria Formula” meeting Wednesday that India’s illegal military occupation of Jammu and Kashmir was among its worst UN Charter violations, and that the struggle of peoples for their recognized right to self-determination cannot be equated with terrorism.

Speaking in a debate, Ambassador Munir Akram regretted that after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the fight against international terrorism has been utilized to justify the unilateral use of force and foreign intervention.

Mexico, a non-permanent member of the Security Council, convened the meeting on “Upholding the collective security system of the UN Charter: the use of force in international law, non-state actors and legitimate self-defence” under the format of Arria formula, which is named after a former Venezuelan UN ambassador, Diego Arriva. It is a very informal consultation process which affords the 15-member Council the opportunity to hear persons in a confidential, informal setting.

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Emphasizing that the purpose of the UN Charter was to outlaw the resort to war, the Pakistani envoy said, “Unfortunately, today the resort to unauthorized and unilateral use of force is most visible in several situations — in foreign occupation and intervention; in denial of the right of self-determination; in the coercion of smaller and weaker States.”

Pakistan, he said, faces cross-border attacks by terrorists groups “from the territory of the neighbouring state supported by a third state.”

On its part, Ambassador Akram said Pakistan has respected the territorial sovereignty of its neighbouring states, while maintaining its right to self-defense against the state sponsoring those terrorist attacks.

At the same time, the Pakistani envoy stressed that the struggle of peoples for self-determination cannot be equated with terrorism.

“Peoples whose right to self-determination have been recognized and which is being forcibly suppressed, have the right, under the Charter and the resolutions of the UN General Assembly, to resort to all possible means including armed struggle to secure their right to self-determination,” Ambassador Akram told the Council.

“They also have the right to receive moral and material support for their legitimate struggle for self-determination,” he added.

After its military occupation of Jammu and Kashmir, Ambassador Akram said India was threatening the use of force against Pakistan, and resorting to state terrorism as an instrument of policy to coerce neighbours and oppress the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

The attacks in Pulwama and Pathankot, he said, were conducted by Kashmiris responding to India’s brutal suppression of their struggle for self-determination.

In February 2019, he said India’s military adventurism almost triggered another war with Pakistan, but the restraint exercised by Islamabad avoided a catastrophe. Recent leaks in the Indian media have revealed that New Delhi’s aggression was motivated by the design of India’s rulers to pander to its hyper-nationalist base and improve their electoral prospects, it was pointed out.

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The Pakistani envoy said in conclusion, “The world has avoided another global conflict for 75 years. But, if some States continue to undermine the fundamental principles of the Charter, the world could once again be engulfed by conflicts that could put humanity’s very existence at risk.”

Courtesy: APP