India criticises Pakistan for raising Kashmir issue at UN meeting on Ukraine

Since 1947 the two countries have fought three wars over control of the territory

Indian paramilitary forces on patrol in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir. EPA
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India criticised Pakistan for raising the issue of Kashmir during an emergency special session of the UN General Assembly on the conflict in Ukraine and reiterated that the disputed region is an “integral and inalienable part of India”.

Ruchira Kamboj, the Indian representative to the UN, on Wednesday accused Pakistani diplomat Munir Akram, who brought up the issue of the disputed Kashmir region, of misusing the UN forum.

The Muslim majority Himalayan Kashmir region is ruled by India and Pakistan in part, but has been claimed by both in its entirety since British colonisers left the sub-continent in 1947.

The two nuclear-armed Asian neighbours have fought three wars over the control of the territory while New Delhi has been battling a three-decades-long armed insurgency in the portion it controls.

Mr Akram had argued that under international law, the right of self-determination was applied to all the subjugated people "as in the case of Jammu and Kashmir”, comparing a parallel between the Russia-Ukraine war and the Kashmir dispute.

Ms Kamboj called Mr Akram's remarks “utter falsehoods” that deserved “collective contempt”.

"We have witnessed, unsurprisingly, yet again, an attempt by one delegation to misuse this forum and make frivolous and pointless remarks against my country,” Ms Kamboj said.

“The entire territory of Jammu and Kashmir is and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India, irrespective of what the representative of Pakistan believes or covets."

Kashmir has been in the UN charter since 1947 when India moved to the global body for intervention after the first war between the two nations.

The UN passed several resolutions for holding a referendum in the disputed region to allow people to choose between India and Pakistan.

But neither New Delhi nor Islamabad has allowed a referendum, fuelling decades of hostility between the two neighbours.

Relations further nosedived in 2019 after New Delhi annulled special laws on Kashmir that gave it semi-autonomy.

Islamabad condemned the revocation, calling it a “unilateral and illegal” annexation of the disputed region while lobbying at the UN to pass a resolution against India.

Updated: October 13, 2022, 7:22 AM
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