At UN, Pakistan rebuts India’s claim of Kashmir being its ‘integral part’

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Pakistan Tuesday hit back at India for claiming Kashmir to be its ‘integral part, saying that repeating a wrong position would not make it acceptable at any forum. “Let me reaffirm that Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally recognized disputed territory and is not, by any means, a so-called integral part of India”, Pakistani delegate Gul Qaiser Sarwani said, while responding to comments by India’s representative during the general debate of the UN Disarmament Commission, which began its 2024 session on Monday.

The Indian representative, who was was reacting to Pakistani Ambassador Munir Akram’s speech to the Commission on the opening day, claimed that Jammu and Kashmir was an “integral part’ of India, and accused Pakistan of being involved in terrorism. The Indian representative also accused Pakistan of misusing the forum by raising the Kashmir dispute. In his speech, besides other issues, Ambassador Akram had highlighted that Kashmiris and Palestinians were among the peoples still denied the right to self-determination, asserting that India’s large-scale arms acquisitions plus its set of aggressive military policies has turned the security environment in South Asia “volatile and explosive”. Exercising his right to reply, Sarwani, the Pakistani delegate underscored that Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally recognized disputed territory and not an “integral part of India”, and that Ambassador Akram’s remarks were completely relevant to the work of the Commission. “Contrary to India’s assertion, the situation in the Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, India’s massive arms build up, aggressive posturing, and war-fighting doctrines are completely relevant to the Commission’s work, as they carry grave implications for regional and international peace and security – and hence impinge on efforts towards disarmament,” Sarwani added. The Pakistani delegate said that his country was facing a significant threat of terrorism, which is orchestrated, supported and financed by its Eastern neighbour (India), a well-known state sponsor of terrorism whose terrorist network has gone global, reaching countries far beyond its borders. Sarwani reiterated Pakistan’s stance on the longstanding Jammu and Kashmir dispute, emphasizing that it remains on the agenda of the UN Security Council and that its final disposition is to be determined by its people through a UN-supervised plebiscite. On the programme of work of the Conference on Disarmament (CD), Sarwani expressed Pakistan’s concerns over India’s emphasis on the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT), which disproportionately affects Pakistan’s national security interests. He urged for flexibility and compromise from all delegations to break the longstanding deadlock in the CD. “Failure to achieve consensus in the CD also reflects on the lack of sincere and inclusive efforts by the President to bring all member states on board,” he said. The Pakistani delegate also called on the international community to address attempts to undermine regional peace and security, emphasizing their direct impact on prospects for disarmament at both regional and global levels.