Pak for expanding UN observer mission in Kashmir

Observer Report

United Nations

Pakistan has called for expanding the United Nations Military Observer Mission in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), which monitors the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir, to enable the mission deal with the rising tensions in the disputed region.
“This (UNMOGIP) needs to be expanded to respond to existing threats and realities,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN, told the UN Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations on Monday.
UNMOGIP, she emphasized, was a “critical factor for stability: in the region.
The special committee brings together all stakeholders of peacekeeping — the U.N.’s flagship activity — troop and police contributors, financial contributors, Security Council members and the UN Secretariat.
As the committee opened its 2018 substantive session, Ambassador Lodhi Ambassador Lodhi said that Security Council mandates based on political expediency complicated the situation on the ground vis-a-vis the security of United Nations peacekeepers.
Peacekeeping fundamentals must be preserved even when adapting to changing realities, she said, adding that blurring the line between peacekeeping and peace enforcement would impact on the impartiality of the Blue Helmets.
While underscoring the need for political solutions, the ambassador said there could be no lasting peace without addressing the root causes of conflict. “Peacekeeping needs to be strengthened through support for political solutions and mediation processes,” she said. “The goal of protection of civilians is best served by preventing the outbreak of armed conflicts in the first place, addressing the root causes of conflicts, and finding inclusive political solutions to disputes.”
The lack of adequate resources inevitably led to non-implementation of mandates, the Pakistani envoy said.
“We should be talking about enhancing capabilities, not across-the-board cuts in the peacekeeping budget,” she said, adding that it was time to take stock of troop and equipment pledges in the light of remaining capability gaps.
Ambassador Lodhi also called for addressing the growing threat to the safety and security of UN peacekeepers that are increasingly being deployed in complex and perilous operating environments.

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