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Right to self-determination cannot be abused: India at UN

PTI 05 Nov 2014, 21:23:38 PM IST

United Nations: India has asserted that the right to self-determination cannot be abused to encourage secession and undermine democratic states, as it called on the international community to be watchful of forces of extreme nationalism.

India also termed as “unacceptable” the attempts that are being continuously made at the UN and elsewhere to reinvent some basic principles of the UN Charter, such as self-determination, and “to apply them selectively for narrow or domestic political ends”.

First Secretary in the Indian mission to the UN, Mayank Joshi was speaking at a session of the third committee of the UN General Assembly on racism, xenophobia and right to self-determination on November 3.

A Pakistani delegate had earlier raised the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, saying that he regretted that the people of the state had been deprived of their right to self-determination.

Joshi had strongly rejected Pakistan's “untenable” and “unwarranted” comments, saying that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.
He said the “unsolicited” comments by the Pakistani delegate are “factually incorrect and bear no relationship to reality”.

“It would suffice to point out that the people of Jammu and Kashmir exercised their right of self determination at the time of India's independence and have chosen and reaffirmed their destiny repeatedly through India's well established democratic processes. Free, fair and open elections are
regularly held there at all levels,” he said.

Joshi emphasised that “the right to self-determination cannot be abused to encourage secession and undermine pluralistic and democratic states”.

“We need to be watchful of forces of extreme nationalism being fuelled by legitimisation of ethnic or religious segregations on the ground that societies need to be constituted on homogeneous lines before they can be tolerant towards diversity and accept multilateralism,” he said.

“The international community has consistently affirmed that the right of self-determination does not extend to component parts or groups within independent sovereign states,” he said.

He said the right to self-determination is a fundamental right for people of non-self governing territories and trust colonies and should always be seen in historical perspective.

Joshi added that racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, including their contemporary manifestations are issues that cannot be ignored as they undermine human dignity and are often the cause of conflict.