Pakistan Monday told the United Nations that the “cruel” and persisting India’s lockdown in occupied Kashmir and its atrocities in the disputed state have exacerbated the suffering of women and children, emphasizing that the world body must address that “dire and unacceptable” situation there.
“The international community must pay special attention to the plight of women and their families living under foreign occupation and ensure that their basic and inalienable rights are guaranteed,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi told the General Assembly’s Third Committee, which deals with social, humanitarian and cultural matters.
The Pakistani envoy lashed out at occupation forces in Jammu and Kashmir which she said are responsible for taking children away in the dead and darkness of the night. “They are then held incommunicado and some children never return.”
Ambassador Lodhi, who was speaking on Advancement of Women, took advantage of the theme of the debate to draw attention to the plight of women and their families living under foreign occupation, and urged the international community to ensure that their rights are respected and guaranteed.She said that this held especially true for women living in occupied Kashmir where the continuing lockdown has exacerbated their pain and suffering.
In this regard, the Pakistani envoy said the anguish of a Kashmiri mother had been captured by a heart wrenching picture published in Monday’s New York Times on it’s front page – a mother who could not save the life of her son because of the tight restrictions imposed on the occupied territory and her inability to call an ambulance on time.
In her remarks, Ambassador Lodhi also said women are among the most marginalized in many societies and the 1995 Beijing Declaration remains the most comprehensive policy framework for their empowerment. However, with its 25th anniversary approaching, serious gaps remained across all twelve critical areas of concern.
As regards Pakistan, she said the country’s Constitution guaranteed equal rights for all citizens and full participation of women in all spheres of national life. “Our adherence to the ideals of empowering women and protecting their rights stems from our faith, our constitution and the vision of our founding fathers.”
In conclusion, Ambassador Lodhi reaffirmed Pakistan’s firm commitment to the goal of empowering women in all situations to create a more just, equitable and peaceful world.
Speaking later, Indian representative Paulomi Tripath, a junior diplomat, protested, without naming Pakistan, and claimed that “One country tried to misguide the committee by referring to the internal matters of India”. But she failed to respond to any of the issues raised by Ambassador Lodhi in her statement.
The Pakistani envoy was wearing her characteristic green colour outfit while the Indian delegate wore a saffron sari, prompting a delegate from another country to remark that this clash of views between green and saffron left the green dominant while saffron was meekly defensive.