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Posts tagged as Lodhi

Crisis with India can have unintended impact on Afghan peace process: Maleeha

NEW YORK: The ongoing crisis with India means that Pakistan’s full focus has to be on its eastern frontier and that has implications for the nascent Afghan peace process, Pakistan’s Representative to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi said.
Although she stopped short of saying this would affect Pakistans role in the process, her message was clear that the shift in focus could have that unintended results.
Our attention is going to be where we feel there is a military threat to us,” Ambassador Lodhi said in response to a question about the possible impact of the simmering India-Pakistan tensions stemming from the Kashmir dispute.Qatar offers mediation to de-escalate tensions between Pak, IndiaThat ongoing threat, she clarified, was from India.
The latest round of Afghan peace talks is taking place in Doha, Qatar, between Zalmay Khalilzad, the American special envoy, and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s deputy leader, who for the first time is taking a more direct role in the process.“Both (Afghanistan) and (Kashmir) issues are important in their own right.
But it is the eastern border, from where India attacked Pakistan. They sent planes into our territory.That’s a hot border,” the envoy added.“Afghanistan is a different situation.We would like that war to end. But we don’t perceive a threat from our western border.
It’s our eastern border from where we continue to perceive a threat.“We are in the midst of a very tense situation, a very fraught situation,” the Pakistani envoy continued.The Indian leadership is failing to respond to Prime Minister Imran Khans repeated gestures (for peace), which included freeing and releasing the Indian pilot.”The turmoil in Kashmir escalated on February 14, after a suicide bombing killed more than 40 Indian paramilitary troops in Kashmir.Pakistan categorically denied any involvement and offered to investigate, but India still went ahead and dropped bombs inside Pakistani territory.We kept asking the Indians to give us what you have and we will act on it, Ambassador Lodhi said, adding that only couple of days ago, the so-called dossier has been handed over Pakistan.Theresa May lauds PM Imran’s peace overtures amid Pak-India tensionsWe are examining that dossier to see if there is anything there on which we need to act, and we will act if there is any solid evidence, but we cannot act on the basis of allegations, she said.Replying to a question about Kashmir, the Pakistani envoy said the dispute has been there for the past 70 years.
“It has to be addressed, in its own right and (on) its own merits because it will remain an issue that will lead to repeated tensions between India and Pakistan and in any case, it is an issue that is on the Security Council agenda and it has resolutions that remain unimplemented.

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Indian LoC violation: UN chief reassures Pakistan of ‘complete support’

ISLAMABAD : Pakistan has continued its diplomatic efforts to highlight Indian aggression and took the international community into confidence following India’s violation of the country’s airspace early Tuesday morning.
Qureshi spoke to UN chief Antonio Guterres on the phone on Wednesday and discussed the regional situation following Indias violation of Pakistani airspace on Tuesday.
We had concerns that the Indian government would try to disrupt regional peace to achieve political gains, said FM Qureshi, adding that we have kept the international community informed about out reservations and concerns.Qureshi also gave reference of his two letters to the UN chief on the matter.Indias act of aggression is a violation of UN charter and international diplomatic laws.The UN chief has reassured Pakistan of its complete support and cooperation.
Earlier, FM Qureshi in a letter to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres invited his attention towards the deteriorating security situation in the region in the wake of violation of Pakistans airspace by India, Radio Pakistan reported.This aggressive act by India has severe repercussions for the regional peace and security, said Qureshi, and added that, The Indian government is issuing threatening statements in the aftermath of Pulwama incident on the pretext of terrorism, in order to divert the world opinion from its grave human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir.
FM Qureshi categorically stated that Pakistan reserves the right to take an appropriate action in self-defence.The foreign minister also briefed the members of the diplomatic corps about the Indian violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in Islamabad.He also informed the diplomatic corps that at approximately 0254 hours, 6-8 Indian Air Force (IAF) jets were effectively intercepted by Pakistani Air Force (PAF) Jets and forced to scuttle back. The IAF randomly releasing their ordnance which landed in an uninhabited remote area, the foreign minister informed.
FM Qureshi strongly refuted the Indian purported claims of having targeted a large terrorist camp and resultant causalities. Its completely absurd and is based on a false narrative designed to placate the Indian domestic audience.
FM Qureshi also wrote a letter to the Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Countries Dr Yousuf bin Ahmed.Qureshi, referring to his letter from February 24, highlighted the Indian violation of the LoC and threat it posed to regional stability.IAF jets violated the Pakistani airspace by entering from the Muzaffarabad sector, they were faced by the Pakistani air force and were forced to return.The Indian act of aggression is a violation of international laws and is an act of misadventure.
Pakistan reserves the right to respond in order to defend itself, the foreign minister stated in the letter.Qureshi also highlighted the secretary general to reconsider the invitation given by the UAE to Indian minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj to attend the OIC meeting on March 1 as a special guest, saying that Pakistan would have to reconsider its stance regarding the summit, and asked the secretary general to review this situation.Reactions on Indias LoC violationPakistani Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Maleeha Lodhi has also spread the countrys stance at the UN loud and clear, and said that, as a target of aggression, Pakistan will respond to India at a time and place of its choosing, Radio Pakistan reported.Ambassador Lodhi held a series of intense meetings with key diplomats and UN officials following Indias blatant violations of the Line of Control (LoC) by Indian war planes that worsened the already dangerous situation between the two countries.
She also gave interviews to representatives of international media.“We will not sit back,” she told BBC radio when asked whether Pakistan will respond to India’s attack.PAF chases away Indian jets after LoC airspace violationAmbassador Lodhi said that following the February 14 Pulwama attack in IoK, Prime Minister Imran Khan has offered investigation if actionable evidence was provided but none was forthcoming.The prime minister also proposed discussions and dialogue, but regrettably India responded by launching an attack on Pakistan in violation of UN Charter and international law, posing a threat to international peace and security.“This is not how countries act when responding to challenges,” the Pakistani envoy said.

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Pak govt working to address poverty, Maleeha tells UN

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has told the United Nations that the new government of Prime Minister Imran Khan was pursuing a number of people-centric policies designed to eliminate poverty by boosting sustainable economic growth of the country.
The Pakistani envoy, who speaking in the 57th session of the UN Commission for Social Development, also called for global cooperation to eradicate poverty and social development for all.Ambassador Lodhi said that Pakistan’s big youth bulge had provided the government a unique opportunity to benefit from the demographic dividend and harness the potential of youth by providing openings for their growth and development.In addition, the Pakistani envoy said the Prime Minister’s Youth Programme aims entailed a broad canvas of schemes aimed at enabling youth and the underprivileged to access employment opportunities through skills development, higher education and Information Technology.At the same time, she said the new government had instituted a National Health Programme to provide health care to underprivileged citizens. Insaf Sehat Cards or Health Cards would potentially benefit over 15 million families for a start.
Pakistan, she said, considers education as an investment in its future. By implementing policies such as Waseela-e-Taleem, a conditional cash transfer programme for education to increase primary enrollment and completion, the government was seeking to provide basic education to all.This program had already benefited close to the country’s two million children. We also believe that the country’s social, political and economic development can only be sustained by strengthening mechanisms that ensure gender equality and women’s empowerment, Ambassador Lodhi said,Through social safety initiatives like the cash transfer-based and female empowerment-focused Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), vulnerable segments are being helped to overcome extreme poverty and find livelihoods, the Pakistani envoy said.Robust results-based monitoring systems to evaluate progress on a wide range of strategies have been put in place to ensure implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In her remarks, Ambassador Lodhi noted that despite reduction in income inequality between countries in the past three decades, wide disparities within and among countries persist, based on income, gender, age, race, religion disability and opportunity.“These policies are aimed at reducing inequality by promoting financial inclusion, agricultural growth, rural development, provision of educational opportunities, access tohealth care and poverty eradication,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said,The Pakistani envoy, who speaking in the 57th session of the UN Commission for Social Development, also called for global cooperation to eradicate poverty and social development for all.Ambassador Lodhi said that Pakistan’s big youth bulge had provided the government a unique opportunity to benefit from the demographic dividend and harness the potential of youth by providing openings for their growth and development.
In addition, the Pakistani envoy said the Prime Minister’s Youth Programme aims entailed a broad canvas of schemes aimed at enabling youth and the underprivileged to access employment opportunities through skills development, higher education and Information Technology.At the same time, she said the new government had instituted a National Health Programme to provide health care to underprivileged citizens.
“Insaf Sehat Cards” or “Health Cards” would potentially benefit over 15 million families for a start.Pakistan, she said, considers education as an investment in its future.By implementing policies such as “Waseela-e-Taleem”, a conditional cash transfer programme for education to increase primary enrollment and completion, the government was seeking to provide basic education to all.This program had already benefited close to the country’s two million children.
“We also believe that the country’s social, political and economic development can only be sustained by strengthening mechanisms that ensure gender equality and women’s empowerment,” Ambassador Lodhi said.Through social safety initiatives like the cash transfer-based and female empowerment-focused Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), vulnerable segments are being helped to overcome extreme poverty and find livelihoods, the Pakistani envoy said,Robust results-based monitoring systems to evaluate progress on a wide range of strategies have been put in place to ensure implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).In her remarks, Ambassador Lodhi noted that despite reduction in income inequality between countries in the past three decades, wide disparities within and among countries persist, based on income, gender, age, race, religion disability and opportunity.

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Pakistan meets UN target of female participation in peacekeeping operations: FO

ISLAMABAD : Pakistan’s Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi the United Nations (UN) that Islamabad has enhanced the participation of women in UN peacekeeping operations, the Foreign Office (FO) has said in a statement.
Speaking at the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN,  Lodhi, said that, Pakistan is proud to have achieved the goal of deployment of 15 per cent female staff officers in its missions.
.Lodhi was referring to the fact that in less than 18 months, Pakistan has gone from zero participation of female military staff officers in peacekeeping operations to the UN prescribed benchmark of 15 per cent, the statement added.Based on the Security Council’s call in 2015 to double its female deployment in the uniform component, the UN’s Office of Military Affairs set the target of deploying 15 per cent female military and staff officers in peacekeeping missions by December 2018.
.The Pakistani envoy further informed the UN Committee that Pakistan was deploying an engagement team consisting of women in the Democratic Republic of Congo in May 2019.Ambassador Lodhi said that as a leading troop contributor as well as a host state, Pakistan would continue to support efforts to strengthen peacekeeping.
. “Our faith in this indispensable tool for the maintenance of international peace and security is firm and abiding,” she added.The Pakistani envoy also referred to United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) and said that Pakistan had always supported the mission in the implementation of its mandate.
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She said that UNMOGIP had an important role to play in the maintenance of peace and security in a volatile neighborhood and called for its strengthening and expansion to make it more effective.The Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, also known as C-34, is an annual forum where key stakeholders deliberate on issues of peacekeeping, and evolve policies to address emerging challenges.
.“This Committee”, Ambassador Lodhi said, “must play its role in norm building and policy formation, and enable peacekeepers to meet the high expectations that we all have of them”.UNGA president due in Pakistan next weekThe Pakistani envoy stressed that the safety and security of peacekeepers remained urgent as threats faced by them have increased due to complex and evolving conflicts.
.“Deployment decisions”, she said, “have to be based on consultations, preparation and knowledge of the ground situation”.Ambassador Lodhi also said that troop-contributing countries possessed practical on-ground and in mission experience which made their suggestions critical during mandate formulation, renewal and review stages.
.Calling for increased representation of major troop-contributing countries at leadership levels in the field and at headquarters, Ambassador Lodhi said that such a step would bring more field-based perspective in decisions related to peacekeeping operations.
Ambassador Lodhi also touched upon the issue of financing peacekeeping operations and criticized calls for cutting costs.
.Peacekeeping, she maintained, is already a cost-effective undertaking which draws strength from the collective political will of the international community. “We must, therefore, pool our best human resources, and ensure adequate financial and material resources for the success of this enterprise”, she added.
.“Achieving more with less is not sustainable”. “It is time we start enabling our peacekeepers to live up to the ideals that we claim to be committed to”, she added.
.UN credibility depends on success of peacekeeping operations: MaleehaStressing the need to preserve the fundamentals of peacekeeping, Ambassador Lodhi said that the legitimacy and credibility enjoyed by UN peacekeeping operations was based on the commitment to uphold these principles.Blurring the lines, she underscored, was fraught with risk as it would impact the UN’s neutrality and credibility.

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