NEW YORK - With the UN Security Council (UNSC) preparing to hold consultations on Friday on India’s annexation of occupied Kashmir, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi has called upon the 15-member body to take note of New Delhi’s “illegal” action and to reaffirm its commitment to its own resolutions that promise the right of self-determination to the Kashmiri people.

In a series of interviews with international media outlets, she said she had been meeting all members of the Security Council, including the five permanent members, since the crisis erupted last week and briefing them on the precarious situation in the occupied Kashmir.

“We are getting significant response from the members of the council,” the Pakistani envoy told TRT, the Turkish international channel.

When her attention was drawn by the BBC News to the statements made by some council members on Pakistan’s move for a meeting on the crisis, Ambassador Lodhi said, “I am not going to prejudge what the council members are going to say, but I think they will be guided by the statement of the UN Secretary General (Antonio Guterres).”

The UN chief had voiced concern over India’s action in Kashmir and said that the status of Jammu and Kashmir should not be altered. He had also reaffirmed UN resolutions for a settlement of the the decades-old Kashmir dispute.

“It was an important statement and they (Council members) will be guided by that and I think at this point in time the very affirmation or re-affirmation of the council’s resolutions itself is going to nullify the Indian claim that this is an internal matter,” the Pakistani envoy said.

“So, I think it’s important to wait and see,” she said, while also urging that international opinion, as expressed by the media,”should also be taken note of.”

“At the end of the day or perhaps at the start of the day, this is about people, it’s about the pain and suffering and plight of the people, who are now locked up in their own homes, their state has been dismembered, they have been completely disinherited and now the Indian government is planning a demographic change to take away from them their majority status in their own region.”

About India’s claim that the revocation of Article 370 of its constitution would benefit Kashmir, Ambassador Lodhi said, “Well, India’s own claim is contradicted by what they have done. If this was being done in the interest of the people of Jammu and Kashmir then they should have been allowed to come out and welcome this move. The fact is they’ve been muffled; they’ve been locked up.”

“India knows that what it has done will never be accepted by the people of Jammu and Kashmir. I think the few reports that are coming out right now from the valley indicate that not a single, not a single Kashmiri is going to get up and support. Even pro-Indian politicians in Kashmir have been saying this is unacceptable,” she remarked.

“We all have to make a choice whether we want to live in a rules based international order where law is supreme, where we respect the law as reflected and enshrined in the UN Security Council resolutions or do we want to live in the law of the jungle where unilateral actions by countries play havoc with international law.”

When TRT’s anchor pointed that the Kashmiri people were in a state of lockdown for 11 days, Ambassador Lodhi said, “You know people are calling the whole state of Jammu and Kashmir an armed cage. It has become an armed prison. Over 14 million people are in grave pain and suffering, everything is shut down. They don’t have the means to go and shop the basic foodstuff. I believe there are shortages already. Communications shutdown is complete.”

“And, above all, they are not even allowed to pray. They wanted to offer Eid prayers, but they were barred from going to main Jamia Mosque in Srinagar as it was shut down. So, when people were not allowed to pray, when people were not allowed to move out of their homes, what does that show? This shows that India took an unlawful action to lock up every Kashmiri because they know when the Kashmiris come out, when the curfew is lifted, there will not be a single Kashmiri who will say ‘Yes’ to the Indian action. They will all say ‘No’. They will say something they have been saying for the past 70 years: “India get out of Jammu and Kashmir.”