India has brushed aside Pakistan’s latest attempt to raise the Kashmir issue at a UN forum and instead took the high road with an appeal for “good neighbourliness and a respect for other states”.
At the High-Level Forum on Culture of Peace on Wednesday, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi tried to link the Kashmir issue with Palestine.
She spoke of poverty and denial of rights under “foreign occupation” and asserted, “Nowhere is this more apparent than in the pain and suffering of the people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir and Palestine.”
Srinivas Prasad, the minister in India’s UN Mission, who spoke later during the meeting, ignored Lodhi’s mention of Kashmir and instead said pointedly: “A Culture of Peace is not just an abstract value or principle to be discussed and extolled in conferences, but needs to be actively built into global relationships between and among nation states.”
He added: “It rests on good neighbourliness and a respect for other states. It, therefore, behooves on us, the members of the UN to work actively towards advancing the goal of a Culture of Peace.”
Last week, Lodhi had brought up Kashmir at a Security Council session on mediation and settlement of disputes, suggesting it get involved again based on resolutions from 70 years ago.
India’s Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin told the Council: “Regurgitating failed approach which has long been rejected is neither reflective of pacific intent nor a display of pacific content.”
But India sometimes ignores Pakistan’s taunts — as do all the other countries — sending them to a silent oblivion.
Akbaruddin has pointed out in the past that no country other than Pakistan in the 193-member UN mentions Kashmir. This despite Pakistan’s attempts to link Kashmir to Palestine, which is a popular cause at the UN.
In his address on Wednesday, Prasad spoke of India’s heritage of a culture of peace that grew from the Vedic age through the times of Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi.
This “has made India home to the harmonious blending of different cultures and religions,” he said.
“As the birthplace of Lord Buddha and home to the second largest Muslim community in the world, we are deeply conscious and proud of this heritage and our commitment therefore, to a Culture of Peace is natural and automatic,” he added.