Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Pakistan rakes up Kashmir issue with Guterres, OIC envoys

By Arul Louis
United Nations, May 10 (IANS)
Pakistan’s Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi has raised the Kashmir issue with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) envoys at a meeting here, according to a source briefed on the proceedings.

At their meeting on Monday she appealed to Guterres and the OIC to make it a priority to push for a “peaceful solution” of the Kashmir issue saying that the rising tensions threatened regional stability, the source said.

Attempts by Lodhi and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to involve Guterres in the Kashmir issue have been unsuccessful.

Guterres has not made any open attempts to get involved in the issue. His spokespersons have said that he was following the situation but would not go beyond saying that he wanted the neighbours to enter into a dialogue to find a peaceful solution.

Lodhi said that it was acknowledged by the UN and also the OIC in its communiques that Kashmir issue need attention, according to the source.

The OIC Summit’s communique in 2016 offered the 57-member organisation’s “support to the widespread indigenous movement of the people of India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir for their right to self-determination.”

India challenged OIC’s statement saying it “has no locus standi” in the Kashmir issue, an internal matter of India, and called its mention of Kashmir “factually incorrect and misleading”.

Sharif met Guterres at the Davos World Economic Forum in Switzerland in January and told him that the issues between India and Pakistan “had security consequences for the region” and needed his attention, according to a Pakistani statement.

Lodhi met Guterres at the UN headquarters in New York, also in January, and asked him to “restrain” India. She also gave him a dossier on “India’s interference and terrorism in Pakistan” and a letter from Sartaj Aziz, the Prime Minister’s foreign policy adviser.

(Arul Louis can be reached at [email protected])

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