Pakistan not getting support in UN on surgical strikes issue: Akbaruddin

October 01, 2016 11:47 am | Updated November 01, 2016 10:16 pm IST - United Nations:

Dismisses remarks made by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric that UNMOGIP "has not directly observed any firing across LoC related to the latest incidents"

India has said that Pakistan approaching the United Nations on the issue of surgical strikes by the Indian Army across the LoC has not found any resonance in the world body and rejected claims that the UN mission monitoring ceasefire “has not directly observed” any firing along the LoC.

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin dismissed remarks made by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric that the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) “has not directly observed any firing across the LoC related to the latest incidents”, a reference to the surgical strikes conducted by India on September 29, targeting terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Mr. Akbaruddin told reporters at the Indian Permanent Mission here on Friday that the facts on the ground do not change whether somebody has “observed” it or not.

“I have nothing to say because what [Dujarric] said was ‘directly observed’ It’s a call that they have to take. I cannot place myself in their boots and directly observe something,” he said.

“Facts on the ground do not change whether somebody acknowledges or not. Facts are facts, we presented the facts and that’s where we stand,” he said.

When pressed at the daily press briefing to explain how UNMOGIP can say it did not observe any firing even as India said it has conducted the surgical strikes, Mr. Dujarric repeated that UNMOGIP has not “directly observed” any of the firing.

“They are obviously aware of the reports of these presumed violations and are talking to the relevant concerned authorities,” he had said.

Mr. Akbaruddin said that while Pakistan had reached out to the UN Chief and the 15—nation Council on the issues of the surgical strikes and Kashmir, it’s call for intervention by the world body has not found any resonance as there was no further discussion on the matter.

“Yesterday there was some action. You are also aware of the reaction,” Mr. Akbaruddin said referring to Pakistan’s envoy Maleeha Lodhi meeting New Zealand’s UN Ambassador Gerard van Bohemen, president of the Council for the month of September, and raising in the UNSC the issue of the action by India.

“Yesterday, the Pakistan ambassador did approach New Zealand. What they didn’t tell you after that was what happened. Did anyone raise anything after what was explained to in the UN Security Council. The answer that I know of is that there was no further discussion of this [surgical strikes and Kashmir matter].” Pakistan had raised the issues through the New Zealand ambassador in “informal consultations” of the Council, Mr. Akbaruddin said.

“Was there a resonance. I didn’t hear that, nor did anybody else in those informal consultations. We are a responsible state. It is not our intention to aggravate the situation. However, as a responsible state, we will not tolerate any impunity. We will not be indifferent to territory being used to kill innocent citizens of our country. India hopes and expects support from Pakistan also in that endeavor.Ultimately they are committed to a bilateral understanding on this,” he said.

Pakistan had raised the Kashmir issue in the General Assembly, he said and asked how many nations “supported” it.

“By my count there were none,” There was “no resonance” among the UN member States for Pakistan’s claims on Kashmir. “At the high-level General Debate, there was a specific and long Pakistani submission [on Kashmir]. I did not hear any resonance of that among any of the member states who took the floor. Ultimately 193 of them took the floor. There was no resonance. If you find anything contrary I’m willing to listen,” he said.

In her meeting with the UN chief, Pakistan envoy Malleha Lodhi said India’s “claim” of carrying out surgical strikes across the LoC was “false” but added that India had by its own admission “committed aggression” against Pakistan.

According to a release by the Pakistan mission here, Ms. Lodhi told the Secretary General that Pakistan had exercised maximum restraint but would respond forcefully to any acts of aggression and provocation.

She said the responsibility for the “escalating crisis rests entirely on India”, the release said.

“India has, by its declarations and actions, created conditions that pose an imminent threat to regional and International peace and security,” she said.

India provoked the crisis to divert international attention away from the “Indigenous Kashmiri uprising”, she said and asked the Secretary General to intervene in bringing an end to the alleged grave human rights in Kashmir.

The Secretary General repeated his offer of extending his good offices to both countries, which the release said Pakistan has always welcomed but India has consistently declined.

Ms. Lodhi also asked the Secretary General to ensure that UNMOGIP is able to report independently about the facts of the situation on the ground to the Security Council.

Ms. Lodhi said the Secretary General is “bound by the UN Charter” to “intervene boldly and unequivocally” by calling on India to halt its “aggressive actions and provocations”, lest these lead to an even more dangerous situation.

During the briefing, Mr. Dujarric had said that Ms. Lodhi’s meeting with Mr. Ban was held at her own request and added that Mr. Ban’s office does not give readouts of his meetings with Permanent Representatives.

Mr. Dujarric reiterated that the Secretary General is following the situation along the LoC with “great concern and the increased tensions along the LoC as well as the escalating rhetoric” between the two countries.

He stressed that the UN chief would welcome any proposals to de-escalate the tensions between the nuclear-armed neigbours.

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