India, Pak Clash Over Kashmir At UN Panel Meet

United Nations – For the second time in a fortnight, India and Pakistan clashed over Kashmir at the meeting of a United Nations committee after Islamabad made “gratuitous references” to the dispute.

“The de-colonization agenda of the UN would be incomplete without resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute,” Pakistan’s deputy permanent representative, Raza Bashir Tarar, said during the general debate of the Special Political and De-colonization Committee in United Nations on Monday.

He said Pakistan was committed to finding a peaceful resolution of the issue “acceptable to all sides, especially the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”

Exercising her right of reply, India’s first secretary at the Indian mission, Prakash Gupta, said Pakistan had once again “regrettably” raised the issue of Jammu and Kashmir,  which, he said, was an integral part of India.

“We reject in their entirety the untenable comments from the distinguished delegate of Pakistan, the references to Jammu and Kashmir in them, being completely irrelevant to the work of this Committee.

“The Indian Constitution guarantees fundamental rights to all its citizens. The people of Jammu and Kashmir have repeatedly expressed their free will and peacefully chosen their destiny in accordance with democratic practices and they continue to do so,” Gupta told the special committee.

In response, Tarar again took the floor saying the Indian representative had made an “untenable assertion” that the dispute of Jammu and Kashmir was irrelevant to the debate on de-colonization. “…Jammu and Kashmir is neither an integral part of India nor has ever been so,” he claimed.

Exercizing its second right of reply, the Indian official asserted Jammu and Kashmir had always been an integral part of India and he completely rejected what he termed as “the untenable references to Jammu and Kashmir, as these do not pertain to the work of this Committee, which can be seen from the work of the Committee so far.”

The fresh clash happened just about a fortnight after Indian external affairs minister, S M Krishna, asserted that Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India terming as “unwarranted” the reference made by Pakistan president, Asif Ali Zardari, in his address to the General Assembly that Kashmir was a “symbol of failure” of the UN system.

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