Washington, Oct 24: Jammu and Kashmir has never been "an integral part" of India, as several UN resolutions have recognised the state as a disputed territory, a Pakistani delegate told the United Nations General Assembly"s fourth committee.
Ahmad Raza Kasuri, a member of the Pakistani delegation, responding to remarks made by Indian delegate Rameshwar Oraon, emphasised that both India and Pakistan accepted the UN resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir.
He said that in a situation of foreign occupation, no electoral exercise can be considered as constituting an exercise of the right to self-determination.
That is why the Security Council in its Resolution 122 of 1957 declared that no Constituent Assembly could be constituted without the consent of the people of Kashmir through a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the UN, Kasuri added.
Kasuri said Pakistan does not need advice, certainly not from India, either on self-determination or on democracy.
"We shall refrain from commenting on India"s 'democratic credentials," which are, at best, highly tarnished. Suffice it to say that in a democracy, all citizens are a willing part of a state. The Kashmiri people are not. Although the Jammu and Kashmir dispute is an international issue, it has been agreed to address this bilaterally through composite dialogue (with India)," he said.
Earlier, during the committee"s proceedings, Oraon had insisted that Pakistan"s call for self-determination for the Kashmiri people was "unwarranted and completely irrelevant" to the committee"s work.
Pakistan would have been better served by focusing on giving the right of self-determination and democracy to its own people, the Daily Times quoted Oraon, as saying.