UNITED NATIONS : Pakistan on Tuesday raised the Kashmir dispute in a key United Nations forum evoking a jittery response from the Indian delegation.
Speaking in the 39th session of the UN Committee on Information, the Press Minister at Pakistani Mission to the UN, Masood Anwar, urged the UN’s Department of Public Information (DPI) to highlight Kashmir dispute the way it was doing with coverage of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
Appreciating UN’s projection of the events related to Palestinians’ cause, the Pakistani delegate said, “We would urge you to do the same for the people of Kashmir who continue to suffer under foreign occupation.”
No sooner had he said this, the Indian delegation tried to interrupt him and asked the committee chairman’s permission to speak on a point of order, claiming that Kashmir was a bilateral issue and irrelevant to the discussion underway. However, Masood Anwar kept delivering his statement without any further interruption.
The Committee on Information overseas the work of the Department of Public Information.
In his speech, Anwar also urged the Department to extend its focus and organize events to ensure that millions of refugees displaced for decades did not become “forgotten refugees in forgotten situations.”
Pakistan, he said, has been a host to Afghan refugees for over four decades with little international support. “While it is important to keep highlighting this issue, we should also not forget situations of protracted refugee presence, situations where refugees, in their millions, have been displaced for decades.”
While designating Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai as the UN Messenger of Peace, the Pakistan delegate pointed out that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres praised Pakistan’s generosity in this regard.
Welcoming the activities carried out by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Islamabad around the Sustainable Development Goals, human rights and climate change, he urged the Department to better project the work of UN peacekeepers in maintaining international peace and security, and to expand its partnerships with airlines carrying United Nations-produced media on their flights.
“Pakistan is proud of its historic role as a major troop contributor to UN Peacekeeping Operations,” he told delegates.
Referring to Pakistan’s cultural renaissance in music, films and art, Anwar said the country was becoming a powerhouse of creativity.
To showcase these developments to the international community, Pakistan had organized an Exhibition of Contemporary Art from Pakistan at the UN which showcased some of the best works of art, a “Sufi Night: Music of Peace” concert in the General Assembly and a Film Festival’s red carpet reception at the UN. “These events not only highlighted Pakistan’s modern and vibrant culture but also its ancient civilizational roots,” the Pakistani delegate said.-APP