NEW YORK: Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Dr. Maleeha Lodhi told UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that India’s decision to hurl baseless and unverified accusations at Pakistan was threatening regional stability.
She called on Guterres at the United Nations Headquarters on Wednesday.
During the meeting, she briefed the secretary-general about the latest developments and the situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOK)
Lodhi requested Guterres to play a role in de-escalating tensions in the region.
Meanwhile, Lodhi also called on the UN Security Council President Anatolio Ndong Mba and briefed him about the situation in the region.
She also informed the UNSC president of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s public statement in which he had offered dialogue to India but also asserted that Pakistan will respond if India embarks on any misadventure.
Later, she told APP that she told the UN leaders that “the Pulwama incident reinforces the need to address the root cause of violence in occupied Kashmir and to find a peaceful solution to the longstanding dispute in accordance with several UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.”
“I have reaffirmed Pakistan’s readiness to a constructive and meaningful dialogue with India overall issues, including the core issue of Kashmir, as stated by Prime Minister Imran Khan,” she said. “I explained India’s no-talk posture is not only irresponsible, but it puts at stake, the peace and security of all of South Asia.”
Condemning India’s reaction in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack, she said: “I regretted that the knee-jerk Indian reaction was an all too familiar attempt to blame Pakistan without any credible investigation to determine facts.”
She asserted that the issue in Kashmir is systematic and historical due to the decades’ long oppression faced by the Kashmiris in IOK.
“Indian brutality and oppression have been met with an intensification of the indigenous Kashmiri struggle against Indian occupation,” she added.
“For the Kashmiri people, every victim is not just another statistic — it is a son or a daughter, a brother or a sister, a friend or a ward; with every fallen martyr, a part of them is also slain,” she added.
Though Indian leaders have been using jingoistic rhetoric to threaten Pakistan, she added, Pakistan will continue to act with restraint. But as PM Imran said, any Indian misadventure will invite retaliation from Pakistan, she said.
Drawing attention to the need for peaceful resolution of the Afghan conflict, Lodhi said: “I informed both the secretary-general and the UNSC president that the premier has offered an investigation into the Pulwama incident, should India provide any actionable intelligence.”
“I request the secretary-general to play his part in diffusing a potentially dangerous and help de-escalate tensions that could spiral out of control,” she said. Pakistan, she said, was committed and remain ready for constructive and meaningful dialogue with India to address all outstanding issues including the core issue of Kashmir.
She related that the UN security-general has said that he was aware of the developments in these troubled times. He has read Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s letter and is aware of PM Imran’s address to the nation, she added.
She said that the UN chief has offered his good offices to help defuse the current tensions, and would continue to do so in future.
Earlier, Guterres expressed deep concern “at the increase in tensions between India and Pakistan” and asked both the sides to “exercise maximum restraint and offered his good offices to ease the crisis,” it was reported.
During a media briefing, UN Secretary-General spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said, “The secretary-general stresses the importance for both sides to exercise maximum restraint and take immediate steps to de-escalate tensions.”
“His good offices are available if accepted by both sides,” she added.