Introducing a new irritant into the bilateral ties, Pakistan has complained to UN Security Council alleging that India was building a wall along the Line of Control (LoC) in violation of the world body’s resolutions.
Pakistan’s Ambassador to UN Maleeha Lodhi, has in a letter to President of the Security Council, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, alleged that India was planning to construct a 10-meter high and 135-feet wide embankment (wall) along the 197-km Working Boundary between Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan.
The planned wall, according to Pakistan, was to convert the LoC “into a quasi international border”.
India did not immediately react directly to the allegation on the alleged wall plan but described the contents of two letters written by Lodhi on September 4 and 9 as “contradictory”.
India would respond to these claims “at the appropriate time”, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif are staying in Hotel Waldorf Astoria but Islamabad’s attitude, as reflected in Lodhi’s letters, appear to have diminished further any prospects of a meeting between the two leaders on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. In the September 9 letter, Lodhi expressed “deep concern” over the alleged wall plan on a “submission” made by Hizb-ul-Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, whom MEA spokesperson Swarup described as a “global terrorist”.
“I believe the second letter (dated September 9) is based on some kind of submission made by Salahuddin, who is a person that we consider to be a global terrorist. At the appropriate time we will respond to this,” Swarup said.
The first letter dated September 4 states that there was no bilateral dialogue. Swarup disputed it saying the BSF and Park Rangers have already met.
“So that letter is contradictory in itself that there is no dialogue. There has been a dialogue,” Swarup said.
“Has any action been taken by the UN on these letters. That is the first question. If there is action taken by the UN we will respond appropriately. If there is no action taken by the UN then this will mean that nobody has taken cognisance of the letters,” Swarup said.
In the letter, Lodhi said that Pakistan “considers the embankment a permanent structure that will bring about a material change in the territory in violation interlaid of… Security Council Resolution…Of 1948.