UN-Pakistani envoy raises India's LoC violations with President of UNGA

UN-Pakistani envoy raises India's LoC violations with President of UNGA

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan's Ambassador to the United Nations, Maleeha Lodhi, has drawn the attention of UN General Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak, to India's continuing violations of the Line of Control (LoC) in the disputed Kashmir region, and urged him to play a role in calming the situation that poses a threat to world peace and security.

Ambassador Lodhi, who met the president on Wednesday, said this year's ceasefire violations committed by India along the LoC and the Working Boundary had reached 1137, resulting in the deaths of 47 innocent civilians and injuries to an additional 159, according to diplomatic sources.

"The numbers this year are chilling and harrowing," she said, noting that the increase has been three-fold since 2016. Ambassador Lodhi said Pakistani armed forces were exercising maximum restraint in the face of deliberate targeting of civilians, but warned that their patience was not unlimited.

She said India has not paid any heed to Pakistan's call for respecting the 2003 ceasefire understanding along the LoC, and deplored the jingoistic statements from the Indian military top brass, threatening war.

Pakistan, she said, was fully capable of a matching and effective response to any act of Indian aggression or misadventure.

Ambassador Lodhi underscored the need to reinvigorate the role of UNMOGIP, stationed along the LoC since 1949, to investigate these incidents, pointing out that while Pakistan fully facilitates the group and reports all violations, India does not allow it to function on its side of the LoC.

Both as a party to the Kashmir dispute, as well as an organization entrusted with maintenance of global peace and security, the Pakistani envoy said the U.N.'s role in reducing the regional tensions was critical.

She urged President Lajcak to advise India to exercise restraint, help calm the situation along the Line of Control, and address the grave human rights situation in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Escalation on the LoC was a deliberate Indian attempt to divert the attention of the international community from the situation in occupied Kashmir and the massive human rights abuses being perpetrated by Indian forces, Ambassador Lodhi said.

On his part, the General Assembly President said he believed in the power of dialogue, as it was the only way out of the problems the world faced today.