United Nations: India on Tuesday hit back at Pakistan for raking up the Kashmir issue at the UN again, saying it should first stop human rights violations in PoK and ensure the right of self-determination for the victims before "sermonising" others on it.
Visiting Member of Parliament Rattan Lal Kataria rejected the "unwarranted" references to Jammu and Kashmir made by Pakistan's envoy to the UN Maleeha Lodhi in the Third Committee of the General Assembly on 'Right to self- determination' yesterday.
Kataria said it is very "ironical" that comments on Kashmir and self-determination "come from a country which is persisting with its illegal occupation of part of the Indian State of Jammu & Kashmir and consistently denying human rights of the occupied territory."
"Pakistan should first stop human rights violations in Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir and ensure the right of self-determination for the victims before sermonising others on it," he said in his statement to the committee here.
In her statement, Lodhi had repeated Pakistan's call for UN Security Council resolutions to be implemented in the state and said fulfilling promise of self-determination to the Kashmiri people is "indispensable" to establishing lasting peace and stability in South Asia.
"The continued suffering of Kashmiri women, children and men should shake the collective conscience of the international community," Lodhi had said.
"The 70th Anniversary of the United Nations ought to be a catalyst to spur this body into action, and not just more words. Fulfilment of the long-held promise of self- determination to the Kashmiri people is urgent as well as indispensable to establishing lasting peace and stability in South Asia," she had said.
Kataria said UN and other international fora should not be used to selectively redefine some of the basic principles of UN Charter, such as self-determination, and to "abuse them for subversive political agendas to encourage secession and to undermine pluralistic and democratic state."
He asserted that it would be suffice to say that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.
The people of Jammu and Kashmir exercised their right to self-determination at the time of India's independence and have since then regularly participated in free, fair and open elections at all levels, Kataria said.
The elections have been held under the scrutiny of international media and opinion, which has not faulted the electoral process, he argued.
"The 65 per cent record voter turnout in the 2014 election in Jammu and Kashmir, despite the threats from Pakistan-based terror groups, is a resounding response by our people," Kataria said.
He told the committee that preserved on the fundamentals of knowledge and righteousness and based on principles of peaceful coexistence and tolerance, India is the best example of a multi-religious, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural society.
"Our vibrant democracy, comprehensive legal framework, independent and impartial judiciary, pluralistic society, active civil society and free media effectively contribute to the global fight against racial discrimination," Kataria said.
He said Palestine remains the "unfinished task" in the realisation of the right of peoples to self-determination.
"India is steadfast in its supporting a negotiated solution, resulting in a sovereign, independent, viable and united State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, living within secure and recognised borders, side by side and at peace with Israel," he said.