India and Pakistan faced off Monday at the UN as Islamabad brought up Kashmir in its renewed campaign to internationalise the issue.
Diyar Khan, a counsellor at Pakistan’s UN Mission, said his country regretted that the people of Jammu and Kashmir had been deprived of their right to self-determination. Self-determination did not lapse with the passage of time, he said. Nor could it be “set aside” by charges of terrorism.
In his address to the UNGA committee that deals with social, humanitarian and cultural affairs, India’s Mayank Joshi dismissed as unsolicited Pakistan’s comments about Kashmir and said they were factually incorrect. Free, fair and open elections were regularly held in that state at all levels, he said.
Exercising the right of reply, Pakistan’s delegate escalated the issue, questioning New Delhi calling Kashmir a part of India and citing UN Security Council resolutions describing Kashmir a disputed territory. Regarding elections in Kashmir, he asserted that polls conducted by the Indian authorities could not be a substitute for a UN plebiscite.
The Indian delegate pointed out that the elections in Kashmir had been held under the scrutiny of international media, which had not faulted those elections.
Going for another round, the Pakistani representative of Pakistan claimed that the elections were held under what he said was foreign occupation and could not be impartial.
In reply, India’s representative said that the Pakistani delegation’s references to foreign occupation were out of context as Kashmir was a part of India.
(With inputs from IANS)