Saima first visually
impaired diplomat to
speak at brail at UNGA


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s permanent mission for the United Nation’s counselor Ms Saima Saleem turned up the first visually impaired diplomat of the world who spoke to the world body on Saturday by using brail system of reading/ writing.

While exercising the right to reply in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), she responded to India’s reaction on major statement of Pakistan befittingly. She demolished India’s position on Kashmir dispute through her emphatic arguments.

Diplomatic sources told The News from New York that Saima Saleem a Multan resident received her master’s degree from the Kinnaird College Lahore, and secured position in her competitive exam. She choreographed the reply at her own when asked to take on India’s irresponsible assertions about Pakistan’s stance and frivolous claims about Kashmir dispute, earlier made in the UNGA.

She wrote notes of her address on the brail system and sought permission to use it before the world body. Her reply was profusely appreciated by the world leaders and representatives of various countries and galleries present in the UNGA during her address.

Her way of narration and confidence was also eulogised by Pakistan’s team, which was present with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in New York.

Speech by Saima Saleem

Pakistan Friday firmly rejected India’s claim at the United Nations that Jammu and Kashmir is its integral part, saying the Himalayan state was an internationally recognized disputed territory.

“Jammu and Kashmir neither is a so-called ‘integral’ part of India, nor is it India’s internal matter,” Pakistani delegate Saima Saleem said in response to an Indian delegate assertion that by raising the Kashmir dispute in his speech to the UN General Assembly on Friday, Prime Minister Imran Khan had brought in “matters internal to my country.”

Saima Saleem

Reacting to the Indian claim, Ms Saleem, a counsellor at the Pakistan Mission to the UN, said, “India remains in occupation of an internationally recognized disputed territory whose final disposition needs to be decided in accordance with the democratic principle of a free and impartial plebiscite under UN auspices, as provided for under numerous resolutions of the Security Council.”

The Indian delegate, Sneha Dubey, while exercising her right of reply to PM Imran Khan’s statement, also made sweeping allegations about Pakistan’s involvement in terrorism, claiming that country has a policy of harbouring, aiding and actively supporting terrorists.

In a hard-hitting statement made in exercise of her right of reply, Ms Saleem, the Pakistani delegate, said India’s use of the canard of terrorism, regurgitating stale arguments are typical of all occupiers.

“Let me emphasize that India itself is the principal perpetrator, sponsor, financier and abettor of terrorism in the region,” she said, adding New Delhi was involved in at least 4 different types of terrorism:

Saima Saleem

— Resorting to “state terrorism” to suppress the people of Indian Illegally Occupied in Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK);

— Funding and supporting terrorist organizations like the TTP which conducts numerous cross-border terrorist attacks against Pakistan;

— Financing and organizing mercenary terrorist organizations against Pakistan to impede economic growth and prosperity of the region, citing the capture of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav;

— Its supremacist ideology has mainstreamed Islamophobia and bigotry against minorities, particularly Muslims.

Saima Saleem

India’s violations of human rights in occupied Jammu and Kashmir, Ms Saleem said, were well documented in the two reports of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, as also by major human rights organizations, but Indian authorities have failed to respond to their critical reports.

The Government of Pakistan, she said, has recently released a comprehensive and well-researched Dossier containing the entire range of gross, systematic and widespread violations of human rights being perpetrated by Indian security forces in the occupied territory.

“We call upon the international community to take cognizance of the compelling evidence and hold India accountable for the heinous crimes.

“If India has nothing to hide, it must accept a UN Commission of Inquiry and agree to implement the Security Council resolutions stipulating a plebiscite to enable the people of Jammu and Kashmir to exercise their right to self-determination,” the Pakistani delegate added.

“The Indian delegation would do well to reflect on the deeply troubling trajectory their state is embarked upon, rather than indulging in patent falsehoods about Pakistan,” she remarked.