UNITED NATIONS (Web Desk) – Pakistan, at the United Nations (UN), on Tuesday challenged India’s qualification for permanent or non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council (UNSC).
Speaking at UN General Assembly, Pakistan’s permanent representative to United Nations Munir Akram said New Delhi has been blatantly violating 15-member body resolutions aimed at settling the decades-old Kashmir dispute.
He said India had imposed stringent curfew in the valley of eight million people for more than 100 days and it is perpetrating massive violations of human rights and minority communities.
It is the first time that Pakistan has challenged the India’s eligibility for membership of the Security Council.
“The size and power of a state does not in itself, qualify it for a permanent membership of the Council or other privileges within the United Nations – a United Nations which requires the sovereign equality of all states,” the Pakistani envoy told the 193-member Assembly during a debate on the Security Council reform.
“At least one of the G-4 does not, in our view, qualify for membership of the Security Council, permanent or non-permanent,” Ambassador Akram added.
Full-scale negotiations to reform the Security Council began in the General Assembly in February 2009 on five key areas – the categories of membership, the question of veto, regional representation, size of an enlarged Security Council, and working methods of the council and its relationship with the General Assembly.
Despite a general agreement on enlarging the Council, as part of the UN reform process, member states remain sharply divided over the details.
The G-4 countries have shown no flexibility in their campaign to expand the Security Council by 10 seats, with six additional permanent and four non-permanent members.
On the other hand, the Italy/Pakistan-led Uniting for Consensus (UfC) group firmly opposes any additional permanent members, saying that such a move will not make the Security Council more effective and also undermine the fundamental principle of democracy that is based on periodic elections.
The Security Council is currently composed of five permanent members — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States – and 10 non-permanent members.
In his remarks, Ambassador Akram said the rationale for reforming the Council was to make it more representative, transparent, accountable and effective.
The Uniting for Consensus position is well ‘known, offering the most promising basis to achieve consensus, particularly on equitable representation. Its proposal does not discriminate among States and will enhance accountability through the election and potential re-election of members.
The UfC proposal is realistic and likely to secure the required ratification of the five permanent Council members, if it is approved by the Assembly, the Pakistani envoy said.
Pakistan, he pointed out, respects Africa’s collective desire for representation; its absence is a historical injustice. Rotation was the best way to achieve regional interests, he said adding that a regional approach could also attract the support of sub-regional groups.
Through the provision of possible re-election, the Uniting For Consensus proposal offers the potential for continued - and even long-term - representation of some States if they are elected by their respective regions, the Pakistani envoy said.
Conversely, Ambassador Akram said, the G-4 proposal has no support, adding that they have nominated themselves to represent their representative regions. “While decrying that the Security Council is unrepresentative, they seek permanent membership for themselves.
There have been many occasions in history when the seekers of power and privilege have come forward to declare that they have come not to praise Caeser but to bury him.”
Women – the worst victims in Kashmir
In occupied Kashmir, 2,337 women among 95,469 total casualties were martyred in the last 30 years of unabated state terrorism unleashed by India in every nook and corner of the territory.
According to a report released yesterday by the Research Section of Kashmir Media Service (KMS) on the occasion of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Indian troops molested 11,175 women during the same period.
The report maintained that Kashmiri women had been worst victims of the harrowing conflict, which rendered 22,910 women widowed since 1989.
The report deplored that the troops were using molestation as a weapon to suppress the Kashmiris’ just struggle for right to self-determination.
It said that over 100 women were gang-raped by the troops at Kunanposhpora in Kupwara in February 1991 while two women; Aasiya and Neelofar were abducted, raped and subsequently killed in Shopian in May 2009.
Last year, another nine-year-old Asifa met similar fate in Kathua area of Jammu region. Around half a dozen women including Aasiya Andrabi, Fahmeeda Sofi and Naheeda Nasreen are languishing in Indian jails.
Meanwhile, the situation continues to remain tense and far from normal in the Kashmir Valley and parts of Jammu region on the 114th day of military siege.
The residents continue to observe silent protest by keeping their shops closed and staying away from offices and educational institutions. Ban on internet across all platforms, SMS and prepaid mobile services remains in place in the Valley.
Indian police arrested several youths including a Hurriyat activist, Bashir Ahmad Qureshi, in Srinagar for organising anti-India protests.
The troops conducted cordon and search operations in different areas of Srinagar, Ganderbal, Budgam, Islamabad, Kulgam, Pulwama, Shopian, Baramulla, Bandipora and Kupwara districts.
Indian Defence Ministry has deployed Special Forces comprising Indian Army, Navy and Air Force in the Kashmir Valley to carry out combined military operations.
On the other hand, speakers at a seminar organised at the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation Secretariat in Jeddah expressed grave concern over the plight of Kashmiris in occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
A large number of diplomats and Pakistani and Kashmiri community members attended the event. OIC Secretary General’s representative on Kashmir, Yousaf Bin Muhammad Al-Zabeay said the OIC attaches great importance to the Kashmiri people and their peaceful struggle for right to self-determination in accordance with the UN resolutions.
Besides AJK President Sardar Masood Khan, those who spoke on the occasion included APHC representatives Syed Abdullah Gilani and Syed Faiz Naqshbandi.
Yesterday, a rally carried out by the students and teachers of a local school in Rawalpindi, to express solidarity with the oppressed people of occupied Kashmir.