PR No. 31 Islamabad: September 8, 2017

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At the UN, Pakistan urged the world community to correct the historic injustices suffered by the people of occupied Kashmir and Palestine, says a press release received here today from New York.

Speaking in the General Assembly in a debate on the Culture of Peace, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Dr. Maleeha Lodhi declared that durable peace in the world would not be possible unless such long standing issues were resolved. She said that there are  cases where historic injustices wait to be corrected and where people are still denied their fundamental right to self-determination.

“The most glaring – and tragic – examples are Palestine and Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, both of which remain an unfinished agenda of the United Nations”.

Highlighting the Kashmir issue, she said that the situation in Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir was a travesty of international law, justice and humanity. “The plight and profound suffering of the Kashmiri people should shake the world conscience and urge the international community into action”, she remarked.

The Pakistani envoy said that while the focus of the United Nations today is on prevention and sustaining peace, conflict resolution however, holds the key to addressing both the existing and emerging international challenges.

“If we continue to shy away from protracted and complex disputes because they appear intractable, sustainable peace will remain a distant dream”, she added.

Ambassador Lodhi said that the year 2000 was declared as the International Year for the Culture of Peace and the first decade of the new century as the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence. “But then we failed to live up to our own promises”, she added.

To address these failures and inadequacies, she said, “we need to adopt an approach that identifies and builds on our commonalities. Interreligious and intercultural dialogue will help create multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-religious societies”.

The Pakistani envoy urged the 193 member General Assembly to join forces for genuine and constructive dialogue across ethnicities, cultures, races, religions and nationalities.

She called for building walls against racism, bigotry, Xenophobia and Islamophobia, rather than erect walls to keep people out. This, she said was imperative for an interdependent world.

Underscoring Pakistan’s commitment to achieving lasting world peace, Ambassador Lodhi reminded the world body that Pakistan, along with the Philippines, have, for over a decade, taken the lead in presenting a resolution on “Promotion of inter-religious and intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation for peace”. This resolution enjoys the unanimous support of all UN member states.

Describing the current world situation, Ambassador Lodhi said that while there is more knowledge, information and technology in the world than ever before, yet today’s world is beset with armed conflicts, violence, wars and man-made disasters.

“And the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War is another reminder of how and where we have failed and why we have to try much harder”, she added.

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