An Indian official has rejected an assertion by Pakistan’s foreign minister that the dispute over the Kashmir region is a global matter high on the agenda of the United Nations (UN).
Vidisha Maitra, the first secretary of India’s permanent mission to the UN, said in a statement on Sept. 22 that the disputed Himalayan region was an integral part of India and not a global matter.
“We reject the malicious reference made to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral part of India,” she said. “If there is an item that is unfinished on the agenda of the UN, it is that of tackling the scourge of terrorism.”
On Sept. 21, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi brought up the Kashmir dispute during his address to an almost entirely virtual UN General Assembly session.
“The Jammu & Kashmir [J&K] and Palestine disputes are the organization’s most glaring and long-standing disputes. The people of occupied J&K still await fulfillment of the commitment made to them by the UN to grant them their right to self-determination,” the top Pakistani diplomat said.
Ms. Maitra accused Pakistan of harboring and training militants to destabilize the region. She said Pakistan “would do well to turn its attention inwards to immediately addressing these pressing concerns instead of diverting attention from them by misusing the UN platform.”
Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since their partition in 1947. The countries have fought three wars over the territory.
India has stationed more than half a million soldiers in Kashmir to quell a pro-independence uprising that first erupted in 1989.
New Delhi also recently scrapped the semi-autonomy of its part of Kashmir, sparking a new wave of tensions over the region.
India and Pakistan have also frequently exchanged heavy fire across the militarized de facto border in the disputed Kashmir Valley.
India accuses Pakistan of arming and training militants and allowing them across the restive frontier in an attempt to launch attacks. Pakistan denies the allegation.
Thousands of people have been killed in the unrest in Kashmir over the past two decades. (PressTV.com)