Pakistan raises Kashmir issue with UN officials
United Nations, July 20: Pakistan continued to raise the Kashmir issue with top UN officials and submitted letters to UN chief Ban Ki-moon and Security Council President expressing "concern" over alleged human rights violations in the Valley after the killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani.
Pakistan's Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi briefed President of the Security Council for July Japanese Ambassador Koro Bessho, Ban's Chief of staff and Under Secretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman on the situation in Kashmir, saying fundamental human rights were being "blatantly violated" in the state.
A statement issued by Pakistan's mission to the UN here yesterday said Lodhi also forwarded letters written by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz to the UN Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council expressing "Pakistan's serious concern at the alarming situation" in Kashmir and "drawing attention to the brutal killings of innocent civilians and grave violations of the fundamental human rights of the Kashmiris by the Indian occupation forces."
Lodhi also raised the killing of Wani in her meetings with the UN officials, calling it an "assassination of a Kashmiri youth leader". "Dubbing the Kashmiris agitating for their right to self-determination as 'terrorists' was a travesty of truth and was further inflaming passions," she said in the statement.
Lodhi had also tweeted that she "briefed the President of the Security Council on the situation" in Kashmir yesterday. In another tweet she said the letter written by Aziz to President of UN Security Council will be "circulated as an official document" of the UN.
Lodhi in her meetings called for an "end to impunity and brutal repression against innocent civilians by Indian occupation forces in Jammu & Kashmir," the statement said. Calling for an "independent and transparent" inquiry into the "extra-judicial killings" in Kashmir, Lodhi said the UN has "longstanding commitments" to the people of Jammu and Kashmir under several UN Security Council resolutions.
The Pakistani envoy was informed that the UN Secretary General was concerned about the situation in Kashmir and was ready to mediate peace talks between India and Pakistan provided the two neighbours accept his good offices, the statement said.