ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday termed Jammu and Kashmir and Palestine disputes as the “most glaring issues” of the United Nations (UN), adding that the people of occupied Kashmir and Palestine “still await the fulfilment of right of self-determination”.
“We the peoples of the UN must rise to meet the global challenges faced, both historic and current,” he said in a tweet. “While we have seen enormous international cooperation to combat Covid-19, it has failed to unify humanity as it could have.”
The foreign minister also stated that “the very forces that led to the Second World War, racism and fascism are taking the shape of rising xenophobia and Islamophobia”.
On UN’s 75th anniversary, Qureshi said, “Pakistan reaffirms our ardent commitment to upholding the spirit of multilateralism […] It is our conviction that for the UN, its values and its architecture, there is no alternative”.
On Monday, the world’s various nations came together to deliver a declaration commemorating this anniversary of the UN, saying the determination with which all countries come together “has rarely been greater” amid global challenges ranging from the coronavirus pandemic to climate change and violent extremism.
The declaration, approved by 193 member nations at the predominantly virtual commemoration, praises the UN as the only global organisation with the power to bring countries together and give “hope to so many people for a better world and […] deliver the future we want”.
The declaration says the world “is plagued by growing inequality, poverty, hunger, armed conflicts, terrorism, insecurity, climate change and pandemics”. It states that the poorest and least developed countries are falling behind, decolonisation is not yet complete and people are forced to make dangerous journeys in search of refuge.
Pakistan has regularly raised the Kashmir issue on different UN platforms over the years, including United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The issue has also been raised by China in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) three times since New Delhi stripped the occupied territory of its special status last year — a move that was met with much furore in Pakistan.
Islamabad has pointed out that stripping the occupied territory of its special status goes against resolutions passed by the UNSC that dictate that the residents of Kashmir should be given the right to self-determination.
The Indian government, however, argues that the move has ended the ‘disputed’ nature of occupied Kashmir and therefore it should be removed from the council’s agenda.
According to diplomatic sources at the UN headquarters in New York, India has long sought to remove the “India-Pakistan Question” from the agenda of the UNSC. Despite its best efforts, India’s attempts have failed consistently.