UNITED NATIONS -- India today hit back at Pakistan for raising the 'Kashmir issue' at the UN again, and said the "fly-by-night operator", Islamabad, was misusing the world body for its "territorial aggrandisement".
Exercising the Right of Reply, Minister in India's Permanent Mission to the UN, Srinivas Prasad, strongly rejected remarks made by Pakistan's envoy to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, in which she had said that the non-implementation of UN Security Council resolutions for a plebiscite in Kashmir is the "most persistent" failure of the UN.
"We are constrained to take the floor to exercise our Right of Reply because we have just heard one country -- Pakistan -- make reference to the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir in a rather self-serving and disingenuous attempt to bring an extraneous issue to this committee," Prasad said during the General Debate of the Special Political and Decolonisation Committee yesterday.
Rejecting Lodhi's comments, Prasad said "Pakistan, acting like a fly-by-night operator, has attempted to flagrantly misuse the forum provided by the Committee for its territorial aggrandisement".
He asserted that Kashmir is not on the agenda of the committee, which is focussed on decolonisation and "non-self-governing territories".
He added that by raking up the Kashmir issue in the committee that focuses on decolonisation reflects yet another failed attempt to bring the issue on the agenda of this committee.
Reiterating that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India, Prasad said "Pakistan will be well advised not to disrespect the intelligence of the committee and abide by its agenda".
Lodhi said that for over six decades, the UN Security Council resolutions promising a plebiscite under UN auspices to allow the Kashmiri people to determine their destiny, have not been implemented.
"This is the most persistent failure of the United Nations," she said adding that generation after generation of Kashmiris has only seen "broken promises and brutal oppression," she said.
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