United Nations, June 24 (KMS): Pakistan has told the UN General Assembly that the most egregious aspect of the concept of responsibility to protect, or R2P, was its “selectivity and double standards”, saying its sponsors had ignored the need for “collective action” to protect the suffering people of occupied Palestine or of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Munir Akram, during a thematic debate in the UNGA on the doctrine of responsibility to protect said, “While high-sounding pronunciations are made about the situations in some targeted countries, mostly developing and Islamic states, there is complete silence with regard to other situations which clearly fall within the purview of paragraphs 138 and 139 of the 2005 Summit Declaration.”
Pertinently, the concept of R2P rests upon three pillars: the responsibility of each state to protect its populations; the responsibility of the international community to assist states in protecting their populations; and the responsibility of the international community to protect when a state is manifestly failing to protect its populations.
Ambassador Akram said, one specific circumstance where those provisions would apply is in situations of foreign occupation or alien domination. He said that such situations were often rife with pressing human rights emergencies and could easily spiral to genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. “Yet, we have not heard from the concept’s sponsors about the need for ‘collective action’ to protect the people of occupied Palestine or of Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir,” he added.
For more than seven decades, the Pakistani envoy said, India had denied the right of self-determination to the Kashmiri people, in violation of multiple Security Council resolutions, and continued to commit widespread and systematic violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, including war crimes and crimes against humanity in IIOJK.
“Unfortunately,” he said, “the proponents of R2P have observed a deafening silence on these Indian crimes in occupied Jammu and Kashmir”.
The concept of R2P should also be invoked to prevent the danger of an impending genocide against the 200 million Muslims of India, Ambassador Akram added.
“No one can be unaware of the systematic campaign underway in India by the ruling adherents of Hindutva to suppress Muslims and to eliminate the rich legacy of Islam in India,” he said, adding, “Muslims are murdered by lynch mobs; subjected to periodic pogroms; robbed of their livelihoods and citizenship under the patronage and with the encouragement of the ruling BJP-RSS government.”
Most recently, the ambassador said, hundreds of thousands of Muslims, who took to the streets to protest the Indian government’s complicity to the denigration of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), have been subject to the worst form of violation of their basic human rights, with the homes of Muslims protestors having been unlawfully bulldozed as a form of collective punishment.
“These Indian crimes fall squarely within the ambit of the World Summit’s decisions on R2P. We call upon the international community, in particular the proponents of R2P for the sake of their own credibility, to come forward and offer protection to the people of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, and Muslim and other religious minorities in India,” he said.
The Pakistani envoy said, “Universal and consistent adherence to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter is imperative to ensure the legitimacy of doctrines like R2P, and to ensure universal accountability and justice for all grave and systematic violations of human rights and international law.”
Ambassador Akram’s sharp words drew a response from an Indian delegate.
Speaking in exercise of the right of reply, the Indian delegate said, “We expect nothing new from this delegation” and it orchestrated hatred for India and its secular credentials.
In response, Pakistani delegate Muhammad Shahsawar said that deflection defined India’s diplomacy. “For a country where members from India’s minorities, including Christians, Muslims and Dalits are publicly lynched at the hands of Hindutva zealots is surely not qualified to give sermons to others.”
He said Jammu and Kashmir was not an integral part of India. “It never was, and it never will be”. “If India has any respect for international law and moral courage, it would end its reign of terror, withdraw its troops and let the Kashmiris freely decide their future in accordance with the Security Council resolutions.”
The Pakistani delegate added that India was conducting multiple forms of terrorism, including state-sponsored terrorism in neighbouring countries. Guided by a supremacist ideology, the current Indian government had launched a campaign of intimidation against its Muslim population, he said.