NEW DELHI - Pakistan will stand by the Kashmiri people and support their just struggle for self-determination until the achievement of their goal, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi told a large gathering of Pakistanis and Kashmiris in New York yesterday.
Presiding over a meeting organized by the Consulate General of Pakistan to mark Kashmir Solidarity Day, she said that the Pakistan Mission was working hard at the United Nations in seeking the implementation of its resolutions on the decades-old Kashmir dispute.
“The Kashmir issue is alive at the U.N. and will remain alive until it is resolved,” Ambassador Lodhi told the cheering audience.
But, she said, the e efforts of the Pakistan government and its Mission here must be complemented by the community members in spreading the word about the grave situation in Kashmir where Indian occupation forces are attempting to suppress their popular uprising for freedom.
Ambassador Lodhi briefed the audience about the steps taken by Pakistan for the resolution of Kashmir dispute on the diplomatic front. Only a few days back — on Feb. 6 — she said she raised the Kashmir issue in the Security Council and urged the 15-member body to implement its resolutions non-selectively in order to establish its credibility.
In September, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had forcefully stated Pakistan’s position on Kashmir in the UN General Assembly and later raised the issue with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The prime minister had urged Guterres to take steps to resolve the issue as it posed a threat to regional and international peace.
On her part, Ambassador Lodhi said she had also highlighted the Kashmir issue, especially the human rights violations there, in all the forums of the United Nations and had even spoken about to Secretary-General Guterres. The 193-member Assembly has also adopted a Pakistan-sponsored resolution on self-determination which had 70 co-sponsors.
Ambassador Lodhi said the Pakistan foreign minister had also written letters to the secretary-general protesting Indian ceasefire violations in Kashmir and the killings of innocent Kashmiris and calling for the appointment of a special envoy to facilitate a settlement of the Kashmir dispute.
“Until Kashmir is liberated from Indian occupation, our moral, political and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people will continue,” the ambassador declared.
Speakers at the event highly praised Pakistan’s commitment to the cause of Kashmir and paid tributes to Ambassador Lodhi’s efforts in pushing for a settlement of the Kashmir dispute,
Earlier, Consul General Raja Ali Ejaz urged the audience make contacts with American politicians, lawmakers and common citizens and apprise them of the situation in Kashmir. In this regard, he especially urged the community members to involve their children who are growing up in the United States. Such an approach would build up support for the cause of Kashmir.
Messages of President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Abbasi were read out by senior consulate officials — Irfan Wahid and Hanif Channa.
A large number of speakers belonging to various political parties and organizations addressed the gathering, vowing to do all they can to build up support for the struggle of Kashmiri people for freedom from the Indian yoke.
They included: Sardar Sawar Khan, a former member of Azad Kashmir Council, PML-N President, USA, Rohail Dar, Shafqat Tanveer of the Pakistan People’s Party, and Kashmiri activists: Dr. Asif Rehman, Sardar Imtiaz Garalvi, Sardar Imtiaz, Taj Khan, Naeem Gilgiti, Munawwar Riaz Hussain, Ms. Seemi, Zeeshan Hamid and Khawaja Farooq.