Resolution of Kashmir dispute essential for world peace: Maleeha Lodhi

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NEW YORK : The resolution of long standing disputes including Jammu & Kashmir and Palestine was imperative for international peace and security, Pakistan told the United Nations.

“We must summon the collective will to address protracted and complex disputes and not ignore them simply because they appear intractable”, Pakistan’s Ambassador to UN, Maleeha Lodhi said while speaking in the high level forum convened in the General Assembly on a Culture of Peace.

“Foreign occupation and the denial of fundamental rights including the right to self-determination exacerbate the sense of injustice among the occupied and the oppressed people”, she said asserting that “Peace and justice are inextricably linked”, ambassador Lodhi said that an edifice of peace can only be built on the foundation of justice.

In occupied Jammu and Kashmir, she declared, the valiant struggle of the Kashmiri people for their right to self-determination is being brutally suppressed by an occupation which is inhibited, neither by the norms of international law, nor the mores of conscience and morality.

The Pakistani envoy referred to the recent report issued by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, which she said, has documented, at length, the grim human rights situation in the occupied territory.

Calling for a strengthened role for the UN in conflict resolution, she said that it can serve as the most effective instrument to promote a culture of peace, adding that the resolution of long-standing international disputes remains central to world peace. She urged the 193-member world body to summon the collective will to address longstanding disputes otherwise sustainable peace will remain a distant dream.

She warned that “our shared vision of peace and harmony is under serious challenge because instability and turmoil continues to plague large parts of the world, at the cost of unimaginable human suffering. Gross violations of human rights are still committed with impunity, she added.

The Pakistani envoy also pointed to a toxic brew of bigotry, intolerance and narratives of hate, which has spawned a rising tide of xenophobia and Islamophobia in several parts of the world.

Ambassador Lodhi recounted Pakistan’s role in promoting international peace and security saying that as one of the world’s largest troop contributing countries to UN peacekeeping, Pakistan has a proud history of helping to promote peace and stability across war-torn regions. “Over 150 of our brave sons have made the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of peace. Our blue-helmets will continue to do their part in bringing hope to the lives of millions across the world”, she said.

She also highlighted Pakistan’s role in building bridges of mutual understanding and trust between members of global community. She said, “With the Philippines, Pakistan’s annual joint resolution on “Promotion of inter-religious and intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation for peace” has long enjoyed the unanimous support of the General Assembly”.

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