India’s illegal action on Kashmir cannot change facts on ground: Maleeha

NEW YORK, Aug 9 (APP):Pakistan will stand by the Kashmiri people with it’s active diplomatic and political support as they resist India’s “illegal annexation” of the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir, ambassador Maleeha Lodhi has said.

“The Kashmiris are not alone and we, and I, here at the UN, am going to be the voice of the Kashmiris,” the Pakistani envoy said in an interview with Al Jazeera television.

Responding to a question, she said that Pakistan was keeping all political and diplomatic options open as it vigorously campaigns against the revocation by India of occupied Kashmir’s special status, but made it clear that Islamabad was not looking for a conflict with India.

In this regard, Ambassador Lodhi urged the international community to compel India to stop its escalation, both inside occupied Kashmir and on the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan, pointing out that Indian troops had recently used cluster ammunition, not Pakistan, leading to heightened tensions.
“We do not wish to see any conflict in our region,” the Pakistani envoy added.

She said Prime Minister Imran Khan had told Parliament that he made every effort to engage the Indian government to find a peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute, but the Indian government did not respond and instead it took this illegal act.

The escalation, she said, was coming from the Indian side and it was up to the international community to ask India to halt these aggressive moves and to stop measures that are leading to such a grave situation in the region.

“This is a fraught situation and it is not in Pakistan’s interest to continue to see this kind of escalation,” Ambassador Lodhi said. “But of course,” she added, “we will remain vigilant, we will protect our borders and we will stand by the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”

Pakistan, she said, rejected India’s action in Kashmir as an “egregious violation” of successive UN Security Council resolutions.

“We believe that this illegal act will not, and cannot, change the facts on the ground,” Ambassador Lodhi said.

“The fact that right now, as I speak, there is internet suspension in the occupied State of Jammu and Kashmir, people have been locked up, additional forces have been moved in, (the state has been turned into) an armed camp,” she said. “This (act of) occupation will only fail, this desperate effort by the Indian government is bound to fail because it will never be accepted by the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”