By Aamr Latif
KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) - Speaking on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the UN, Pakistan's premier lamented on Saturday the lingering Jammu and Kashmir dispute that has remained unresolved for over seven decades.
In his speech, Khan said the people of Kashmir were still waiting for the UN to fulfill its commitment to self-determination in the disputed region.
"It is deplorable that the situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir [IIOJK] has further exacerbated since India's unilateral and unlawful actions of Aug. 5, 2019."
He accused the Indian government of maintaining a "military siege" and restrictions on freedom of movement and communications, referring to New Delhi's controversial decision to strip the region of its long-standing semi-autonomous status last year.
Khan urged the international community, especially the UN Security Council, ''to exercise its moral, legal, political and diplomatic authority to implement UN Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir.''
Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts but claimed by both in full. A small sliver of the region is also controlled by China.
Since they were partitioned in 1947, New Delhi and Islamabad have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965, and 1971 -- two of them over Kashmir.
Some Kashmiri groups have been fighting against the Indian rule for independence, or unification with Pakistan.
According to several human rights organizations, thousands have been killed and tortured in the conflict that flared up in 1989.
- Rising Islamophobia
Currently, Khan noted that the world is witnessing the rise of "ultra-nationalist, populist, xenophobic and Islamophobic tendencies," apart from the serious challenge of a daunting COVID-19 pandemic.
"The UN faces many challenges amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. We are witnessing the rise of ultra-nationalist, populist, xenophobic and Islamophobic tendencies," he went on to say, adding: "At the same time, international law and agreements are being flouted or set aside. Trade barriers are being imposed and the pandemic is being 'politicized.'"
Khan said his country remains committed to supporting the UN for the "realization of our shared objectives of maintaining international peace and security; economic and social development including the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals; and the promotion and protection of human rights for all."
"I also reaffirm Pakistan's abiding commitment to multilateralism," he underlined, adding that Islamabad would continue to play a leading role in the global body for the peaceful settlement of international disputes and developing friendly relations among nations based on the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.
Highlighting Islamabad's "critical" role in preserving international peace and security through UN Peacekeeping Missions across the world, he praised all peacekeepers, including in Pakistan "who remain ready to serve in the most fragile and conflict-ridden areas and never hesitate to make the ultimate sacrifice for maintaining peace and security around the globe."