No UNGA statement on Kashmir: Spokesperson

By Arul Louis

United Nations, Aug 28 (IANS) Although the President of the General Assembly (PGA), Maria Fernanda Espinosa, has met Pakistan's Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi, she has not issued any statement on Kashmir, according to her Spokesperson Monica Grayley.

Replying to a question on Tuesday from a Pakistani reporter about a statement from Espinosa, Grayley said, "The PGA has not made any statement on Kashmir today. What you probably have seen -- we have seen as well -- is (about) the meeting she had yesterday with the Permanent Representative of Pakistan yesterday." She added that Lodhi had gone to see the PGA.

The meeting was a part of the effort by Pakistan to raise the Kashmir issue during the General Assembly's high-level session next month, having failed to get the Security Council to hold an open meeting where Pakistan's representative would have had a public forum to air its views.

The Council only held a closed-door consultation without a record or statement at the behest of China after India rescinded the special constitutional status of Kashmir.

After the meeting with the PGA, Lodhi tweeted that she had briefed her "in detail about the grave situation" and told her "the continuing curfew & lockdown is exacerbating the suffering of the Kashmiri people."

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has vowed to raise the Kashmir issue at next month's high-level General Assembly meeting.

He said, "I will tell the world about this, I have shared this with heads of state that I have been in contact with. I will raise this issue at the UN as well."

Espinosa would have completed her term before the annual high-level meeting and be replaced by Tijjani Muhammad-Bande of Nigeria.

(Arul Louis can be reached at arul.l@ians.in and followed on Twitter @arulouis)

--IANS

al/dpb/in

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