A top Pakistani diplomat Tuesday sternly warned India against its repeated threats to carry out “surgical strikes” across the Line of Control (LoC) in the disputed Kashmir region, saying Pakistan would effectively respond to any Indian aggression.
“All I can say to them is: do not underestimate Pakistan’s resolve and capacity to defend itself,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations, told the UN General Assembly.
“Any aggression or intervention will meet a matching and effective response from our armed forces and the people of Pakistan,” she said while participating in a debate on the annual report of UN Secretary-General on the work of the organization.
The Pakistani envoy went on to urge the United Nations and the international community to take “urgent” action to prevail on India to stop its open threats to use force amid the prevailing tensions between the two countries.
India, she said, resorted to daily violations of the ceasefire along the LoC to cover up its crimes against the Kashmiri people and to divert world attention from its occupation. “It claims, falsely, to have conducted a so-called ‘surgical strike’ across the Line of Control.
This claim, and India’s repeated threats to conduct such ‘strikes’ across the LOC, constitute flagrant violations of the UN Charter’s injunction against the use or threat of use of force,” Ambassador Lodhi pointed out.
“This provides Pakistan sufficient reason to respond in exercise of its right to self-defence. By making such false claims and blatant threats, are India’s leaders attempting to provoke a conflict with Pakistan?,” she asked.
Describing the continuing Indian occupation of Jammu and Kashmir a travesty of justice, law and morality, the Pakistani envoy said the people of Indian occupied Kashmir still awaited the implementation of numerous Security Council resolutions, adopted some 70 years ago, that promised them their inalienable right to self-determination.
India has used brutal and indiscriminate force to suppress the heroic indigenous freedom movement against the occupation, she said, noting that hundreds of innocent, unarmed Kashmiris had been martyred in the recent wave of protests; countless others have been blinded and maimed by pellet guns, in what had widely been described as the first “mass blinding” in human history.
Indian atrocities in Jammu and Kashmir, she said, were well-documented by international human rights organizations, but India defended them.
“It does not express remorse on the acts of the perpetrators of these war crimes. It rewards them with national honours.”
Ambassador Lodhi said the edifice of peace could only be built on the foundation of justice. “Yet, these universal ideals are being violated, in plain sight of the international community, in Palestine, in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, and elsewhere.”
The Pakistani envoy called on the international community not to allow impunity to conduct its crimes against humanity in Kashmir under the “flimsy” cover of combating terrorism. “The only terrorism in Kashmir is India’s state terrorism,” she said.