UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Wednesday stamped its approval on a Pakistan-sponsored resolution, reaffirming the right of people of the Indian occupied Kashmir to self-determination.

Adopted by consensus, the resolution, which was co-sponsored by 81 countries, calls upon member countries to immediately cease their occupation of foreign countries and territories, if any, as well as acts of repression, discrimination and maltreatment.

The text was recommended last month by the 193-member Assembly’s Third Committee, which deals with social, humanitarian and cultural issues.

Under the terms of the resolution, the General Assembly reaffirmed the universal realisation of the rights of all peoples, including those under colonial, foreign and alien domination, to self-determination as a fundamental condition for the effective guarantee and observance of human rights.

“Reasserting the legitimacy of the freedom struggle of Kashmiri people, based on their inalienable right to self-determination, is one of the series of steps we are taking to highlight their plight and fight their case at the United Nations,” Ambassador Munir Akram told APP after the passage of the resolution, as he reaffirmed Pakistan’s full support to Kashmiris’ freedom struggle.

With the deployment of more than 880,000 security forces, India has imposed a reign of terror in Kashmir

“Other steps include spotlighting the dire human rights situation in the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IoJK) and cautioning the world about serious threat of widespread unrest in the held territory and thwarting possible Indian aggression against Pakistan in the wake of such an uprising,” the Pakistani envoy said.

“We will continue this campaign and will keep intensifying our efforts in this regard,” Ambassador Akram resolved.

India annexed Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, putting the disputed state under a repressive lockdown, arresting thousands of citizens, including political leaders, and cutting off internet and phone communications.

“We have told the world that with the deployment of more than 880,000 security forces, India has imposed a reign of terror in Kashmir, with severe restrictions on all fundamental freedoms and human rights, and total blackout of all forms of communications,” the Pakistani envoy said.

Pakistan, he said, had also pointed out that under the Security Council resolutions, the unilateral measures taken by India on Aug 5 were “null and void” and did not change the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir nor did they compromise in any way the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people.

Today’s resolution declared the General Assembly’s firm opposition to acts of foreign military intervention, aggression and occupation, since these had resulted in the suppression of the right of peoples to self-determination and other human rights in certain parts of the world.

By further terms, the Assembly deplores the plight of millions of refugees and displaced persons who have been uprooted as a result of these acts and reaffirms their right to return to their homes voluntarily in safety and honour.

It also requests the Human Rights Council to give special attention to the violation of human rights, especially the right to self-determination, resulting from foreign military interventions, acts of aggression or occupation.

Making the case for the legitimacy of the struggle of Kashmiri people, the Pakistan Mission to the UN has been emphasizing the continuing relevance of General Assembly’s resolution 2649 of 1970 which, through its provisions, had declared the following:

1. Acquisition and retention of territory in contravention of the right of the peoples of that territory to self-determination is a gross violation of the UN Charter;

2. The struggle of peoples under colonial and alien domination recognized as being entitled to the right of self-determination is legitimate and they can restore to themselves this right by any means at their disposal;

3. Peoples under colonial and alien domination have a recognized right to seek and receive all kinds of moral and material assistance in the legitimate exercise of their right self-determination.

In addition, it was pointed out that in resolution 1514 of 1960 the right to self-determination was included as the central principle in the ‘Declaration and Granting of Independence to Colonial countries and Peoples’. The same resolution also stated that “all armed actions or repressive measures of all kinds directed against dependent peoples shall cease in order to enable them to exercise peacefully and freely their right to complete independence”.

Moreover, the legitimacy of struggle of people of Kashmir for the right to self-determination is upheld in several resolutions of the Security Council, 47 of 1948, 80 of 1950 and 98 of 1952, in particular.

“We are also vigorously countering the Indian propaganda which seeks to equate this legitimate struggle with terrorism,” Ambassador Akram said.

Pakistan has also been warning the international community of an imminent eruption and blowback in Kashmir, resulting from India’s illegal move to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status that leaves the oppressed Kashmiris with no option but to fight for their freedom.

“We genuinely fear that Indian forces will use extreme forces to suppress this reaction which could result in full-scale ‘bloodbath’,” the Pakistani envoy said, pointing out that in such a scenario, the possibility of a false flag operation by India could not be ruled out.

“We may see a repeat of Pulwama episode, where India resorted to direct aggression against Pakistan after a young boy in Kashmir targeted a paramilitary convey,” the Pakistani envoy said.

“We have informed the high-ranking UN officials as well as members of the Security Council that while situation could be contained in February, if India undertook another misadventure against Pakistan, especially in the wake of a bloodbath in Kashmir, we would be obliged to respond and that such an escalation between nuclear armed neighbours is in the interest of no one.”

In this regard, Ambassador Akram said that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had been requested to strengthen the scope and mandate of the United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) which monitors the Line of Control in Kashmir.

On its part, he said, Pakistan was ready to provide unrestricted access to this international observer force to monitor violations of ceasefire, but that UN must demand of India to also allow freedom of movement to UNMOGIP in Indian Occupied Kashmir.

The Pakistan Mission, he added, will persist with its efforts until such time when India retracts its unilateral, illegal and illegitimate occupation and rescind its nefarious annexation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

“We reiterate that the only option to deescalate the tensions in the region is to find a solution to the Kashmir dispute as per the wishes and aspirations of the Kashmiri people ascertained through UN-supervised free and fair plebiscite,” Ambassador Akram concluded.