First Secretary in the Indian Mission to the UN dismisses Maleeha Lodhi raising Kashmir issue at UN
India dismissed on Thursday Pakistan’s raising of the Kashmir dispute at multiple fora in the United Nations as “clear interference” in the country’s internal affairs, NDTV reported.
In one of the Right of Replies exercised by India to respond to comments by Pakistan’s envoy to the UN Maleeha Lodhi, First Secretary in the Indian Mission to the UN Abhishek Singh said Pakistan should refrain from using the Right of Reply and instead “use the right of introspection” to think about the direction in which the country is moving.
Read: ’Peace in South Asia linked to solution of Kashmir dispute’
Lodhi first raised the issue of Kashmir during a UN General Assembly plenary session on the Report of the Secretary General on the Work of the Organisation. The Pakistani envoy to the UN said consultations with Kashmiris, who are an integral part of the Kashmir dispute, are essential to evolving such a peaceful solution to the dispute.
Exercising the Right of Reply, India rejected Lodhi’s remarks on Kashmir in its entirety. Singh said the references by Pakistan are “totally out of context and constitute a clear interference in the internal affairs of India.”
“It is all the more ironical that these comments come from a country which is persisting with its illegal occupation of part of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.
Read: UNGA speech: Nawaz proposes 4-point peace initiative with India
Further, Singh expressed “deep regret” that Pakistan has violated the ceasefire on a number of occasions in the past several weeks leading to loss of civilian lives on the Indian side. The Indian armed forces and para-military forces have responded to these “provocations”, he said.
“Democracy in Jammu and Kashmir has enabled the people of the state to freely express their wishes and elect their representatives. These elections have been held under the scrutiny of the international media and opinion which has not faulted the electoral process,” Singh said.
Last month, underscoring the urgency of resolving the decades-old dispute over Kashmir, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif proposed to India a four-point peace initiative, aimed at addressing the causes of tensions between the two nuclear-armed arch nemeses. Addressing the world leaders at the 70th anniversary session of the 193-member UN General Assembly, the prime minister proposed Pakistan and India formalise and respect the 2003 understanding for a complete ceasefire on the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir to be monitored by an expanded UN Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP).
This article originally appeared on NDTV.