More reports on: Defence general

Pak's efforts to rope in UN over surgical strikes falling flat: India

01 October 2016

India has said that Pakistan approaching the United Nations on the issue of surgical strikes by the Indian Army across the Line of Control has not found any resonance in the world body, and also addressed the statement the UN mission monitoring the ceasefire ''has not directly observed'' any firing along the LoC.

India's Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin dismissed remarks made by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Stephane Dujarric that the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) ''has not directly observed any firing across the LoC related to the latest incidents'', a reference to the surgical strikes conducted by India on 29 September, targeting terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Akbaruddin told reporters at the Indian Permanent Mission to the UN in New York on Friday that the facts on the ground do not change whether somebody has ''observed'' it or not.

''I have nothing to say because what [Dujarric] said was 'directly observed'. It's a call that they have to take. I cannot place myself in their boots and directly observe something,'' he said.

''Facts on the ground do not change whether somebody acknowledges or not. Facts are facts, we presented the facts and that's where we stand,'' he said.

When pressed at the daily press briefing to explain how UNMOGIP can say it did not observe any firing even as India said it has conducted the surgical strikes, Dujarric repeated that UNMOGIP has not ''directly observed'' any of the firing.

''They are obviously aware of the reports of these presumed violations and are talking to the relevant concerned authorities,'' he had said.

Akbaruddin said that while Pakistan had reached out to the UN chief and the 15-nation Security Council on the issues of the surgical strikes and Kashmir, it's call for intervention by the world body has not found any resonance as there was no further discussion on the matter.

''Yesterday there was some action. You are also aware of the reaction,'' Akbaruddin said referring to Pakistan's envoy Maleeha Lodhi meeting New Zealand's UN Ambassador Gerard van Bohemen, president of the Council for the month of September, and raising in the UNSC the issue of the action by India.

''Yesterday, the Pakistan ambassador did approach New Zealand. What they didn't tell you after that was what happened. Did anyone raise anything after what was explained to in the UN Security Council? The answer that I know of is that there was no further discussion of this [surgical strikes and Kashmir matter].'' Pakistan had raised the issues through the New Zealand ambassador in ''informal consultations'' of the Council, Akbaruddin said.

''Was there a resonance? I didn't hear that, nor did anybody else in those informal consultations. We are a responsible state. It is not our intention to aggravate the situation. However, as a responsible state, we will not tolerate any impunity. We will not be indifferent to territory being used to kill innocent citizens of our country. India hopes and expects support from Pakistan also in that endeavor. Ultimately they are committed to a bilateral understanding on this,'' he said.

Pakistan had raised the Kashmir issue in the General Assembly, he said, and asked how many nations ''supported'' it.

''By my count there were none,'' he said. ''At the high-level general gebate, there was a specific and long Pakistani submission [on Kashmir]. I did not hear any resonance of that among any of the member states who took the floor. Ultimately 193 of them took the floor. There was no resonance. If you find anything contrary I'm willing to listen,'' he said.

(See: US deplores nuclear sabre-rattling by Pakistan)

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