Indian Army imposing deprivation, hunger in occupied Kashmir: Pakistan warns UNSC

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UNITED NATIONS, May 24 : Pakistan Tuesday spotlighted in the UN Security Council the desperate plight of Kashmiri people under Indian military occupation and slammed India for convening a G20 meeting in restive Kashmir in an attempt to project “normalcy” in the disputed territory.

Speaking during a debate on ensuring the security and dignity of people caught in the crossfire and addressing the related issue of access to food and essential services, Ambassador Munir Akram said that the key of securing peace and stability South Asia was the just and peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the Security Council resolutions.

“Deprivation and hunger are being imposed on the Kashmiri people by the suppression imposed by a 900,000-occupation army, massive violations of their human rights and the progressive expropriation of their properties and means of livelihood,” the Pakistani envoy said.

“It is, therefore, sad to see some but not all of the Group of 20 representatives allowed themselves to be used in India’s attempt to portray a false sense of normalcy in occupied Jammu and Kashmir.”

In this regard, Ambassador Akram cited the recent words of the Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, Fernand De Varrenes, who warned against the attempt to “normalize military occupation, which should be decried and condemned, not pushed under the rug”.

At the outset of his remarks, he underscored the nexus between hunger and conflict, observing that 70 per cent of the 250 million people who go to bed hungry every day are in areas of armed conflict, the majority of whom are children.

The Council’s agenda, to the contrary, keeps adding new conflict situations to old and entrenched issues, as hunger continues to grow, impacting people in the Global South, the Pakistani envoy said.

On Afghanistan, he said that almost 95 percent of Afghanistan’s population exists in extreme poverty.

“Even as we seek to ensure women’s rights, and end terrorism in and from Afghanistan, the world cannot allow the Afghan people to be consigned to prolonged poverty, he said, adding the Afghan economy must be rapidly revived through the release of Afghanistan’s assets abroad; revival of its banking system; reconstruction of its infrastructure and implementation of the “connectivity” projects.

Ambassador Akram commended the UN Secretary-General’s Black Sea Grain initiative to ease the impact of the Ukraine war and accompanying restrictions on food security, hoping that the agreement will be implemented faithfully and fully.

“Above all,” he added, “Pakistan desires an early end of the war in Ukraine in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter and international agreements.”

Earlier, some 50 speakers, during a day-long open debate, outlined priority action areas for ensuring civilians’ survival, security and dignity.

As a whole, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the international community to break the deadly cycle of armed conflict and hunger by addressing underlying causes, strengthening vulnerable countries’ economies, honouring commitments to support nations on the frontlines of the climate crisis and increasing contributions to humanitarian operations.

“Civilians have suffered the deadly effects of armed conflict for too long,” he emphasized, asserting: “It is time we live up to our promise to protect them.”