Global politics hindering solution of Kashmir, Palestine issues: Lodhi

Observer Report
New York Ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi, in an interview with a London-based news organisation, has asserted that the politics of big global powers have impeded the resolution of the Kashmir and Palestine conflicts. Lodhi, while speaking to Al-Quds Al-Arabi, called for global powers to help settle the “two oldest unresolved issues” in the interest of world peace. The Pakistani envoy, drawing parallels between the Palestine and Kashmir conflicts, highlighted their peoples’ decades-long struggle for the right to self-determination. “The question we ask in the Muslim world is: ‘Why is it that clear-cut Security Council resolutions on the two issues remain unimplemented?’” “On Palestine,” she recalled, “the road map was very clear. The [United Nations] Security Council had continuously endorsed a two-state solution. What stood in the way was Israel’s intransigence to accomplishing that objective.” “In the case of Kashmir, it was India’s intransigence in refusing to engage in negotiations with Pakistan aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the UN-recognised dispute.” In the absence of any solution, she said, more conflict will be against the interests of the two regions. “In both cases somehow, the dynamics of great power politics have to be addressed — and that is the challenge,” Lodhi added, complaining that “when other issues emerge, they are taken up with speed.” Justice must be done in accordance with international law, morality, and UN resolutions, she said in the interview. Equating the experiences of the people of Palestine and Kashmir, Lodhi claimed both populations share a feeling of brotherhood and solidarity. “The suffering of the Palestinians and the plight of the Kashmiri people are identical because the promises made to them [by the international community] have been broken,” the envoy said. “And those broken promises have led to a very, very dangerous security situation, both in the Middle East as well as in our part of the world.” In India-held Kashmir, the kind of human rights violations taking place are unprecedented in scope and intensity, Lodhi said, noting that those atrocities had been condemned by international media and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. “We are grateful to the Muslim world for standing with us, but I think what we need is for the international community as a whole to respond to both the issues of Palestine and Kashmir,” she said. “We see divisions in the Muslim world today that need to be addressed, as a lack of unity plays into the hands of our enemies … I think the Muslim world has to rise above these differences and these must be addressed by ourselves,” Lodhi said. Responding to a question, Ambassador Lodhi said: “Pakistan has and will always stand by the people of Palestine.”

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