Pakistan living in the past, India tells UN

BSF office pay tributes to a slain colleague in Srinagar on Wednesday.

BSF office pay tributes to a slain colleague in Srinagar on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

Pakistan has raked up the Kashmir issue again at the U.N. with its Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi accusing India of spreading terrorism in the Valley, but India described her diatribe as a “lonely voice from the wilderness”.

The High-level Segment of the UN General Assembly last week had witnessed heated exchanges between India and Pakistan on the issue.

Accusing India of human rights violations, Ms. Lodhi warned India against aggression. “Do not underestimate Pakistan’s resolve and capacity to defend itself. Any aggression or intervention will meet a matching and effective response from our armed forces and the people of Pakistan,” she said, adding that India was making false claims about last year’s “surgical strike” across the Line of Control.

However, “this provides Pakistan sufficient reason to respond in the exercise of its right to self-defence. By making such false claims and blatant threats, are India’s leaders attempting to provoke a conflict with Pakistan?” she said.

Indian diplomat Eenam Gambhir at the U.N.

Indian diplomat Eenam Gambhir at the U.N.   | Photo Credit: PTI


Procedural stratagems

Indian diplomat Eenam Gambhir responded to Ms. Lodhi. “Even while we have heard speakers address concerns of the present and the future, you have heard a lonely voice from the wilderness articulate a narrative of the past … It is focussed on a topic that is not even been deliberated for decades at the United Nations, an issue which that delegation tries to keep alive by procedural stratagems even while the world has moved on ... Yesterday’s people reflecting antiquated mindsets of the bygone times are symbolic of what holds us all back,” she said.

Call for reforms

Speaking at the General Assembly on Tuesday, India’s Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin said the international landscape had dramatically changed last year, and the United Nations must undertake reforms in a manner that responds to these changes.

Participating in a debate on the annual report on the work of the U.N., Mr. Akbaruddin said the world body must not wait for “dramatic crises” to appreciate the changes under way and act pre-emptively.

“…euphoria of finalising the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement seems to have substantially dissipated,” Mr. Akbaruddin said, listing the series of escalating challenges —“threats of nuclear escalation; armed conflict and massive refugee flows; ever escalating terrorist attacks; endemic poverty and under-development; worsening environmental degradation and climate change; accelerating technological change.”

The Secretary General had recently proposed a series of organisational initiatives, primarily under pressure from the Donald Trump administration to bring about more efficiency in the working of the U.N. “We appreciate the spirit that imbues these objectives and the Secretary General’s willingness to change processes,” Mr. Akbaruddin said, adding that the idea of U.N reforms must address deeper changes in the international order. “…to not remain prisoners of historical destiny for all times to come…if we are to keep pace with fast-moving threats we face, we need to go beyond piecemeal changes,” the Indian diplomat said, adding that reforms must account for the “the furious pace of technological advances.”

“…the gap between what technological advances permit and what the current system of multilateral cooperation is prepared to address is growing in multiple areas. Technical achievements, which we believed to be capable of solving all our ills, are accentuating our sense of insecurity. Will the reform being talked about facilitate addressing this dichotomy?” asked Mr. Akbaruddin.

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2020 11:56:48 AM |

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