In what was an inevitable response to Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar predictably raking up the Kashmir issue at the United Nations General Assembly, India hit back at the neighbour asking it to “shut down its infrastructure of terrorism” and “vacate territories under its illegal and forcible occupation”.
India also showed mirror to Pakistan on the issue of human rights violations against minorities and asked the country to stop it.
This comes after Pakistan’s caretaker prime minister raised the Kashmir bogey in his speech at the UNGA on Friday (September 22).
“India has evaded implementation of the security council’s resolutions which call for the final disposition of Jammu and Kashmir to be decided by its people through UN-supervised plebiscite. Since August 2019, India has deployed 900,000 troops in illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir to impose the final solution for Kashmir,” Kakar had said.
In its right to reply, the First Secretary at United Nations for the Second Committee of UNGA, Petal Gahlot made the hard-hitting remarks asking Pakistan to take credible and verifiable action against the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008 that killed over 150 lives.
Hitting back at Pakistan, India said that the country has become a “habitual offender" to peddle malicious propaganda against India.
“Pakistan has become a habitual offender when it comes to misusing this August forum to peddle baseless and malicious propaganda against India. Member states of the United Nations and other multilateral organizations are well aware that Pakistan does so to deflect the international community's attention away from its own abysmal record on human rights,” Petal Gahlot said.
She reiterated that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.
“We reiterate that the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir are an integral part of India. Matters pertaining to the UTs of J&K and Ladakh are purely internal to India. Pakistan has no locus standi to comment on our domestic matters…” she said.
Gahlot reminded Pakistan of its one of the world’s worse human rights records and asked the neighbouring country to “put its own house in order” before pointing a finger at the world’s largest democracy.
“As a country with one of the world's worst human rights records, particularly when it comes to minority and women's rights, Pakistan would do well to put its own house in order before venturing to point a finger at the world's largest democracy,” she said.
Human rights violations in Pakistan
The First Secretary cited the examples of persecution of minorities in Pakistan and said that the country it is the home to the largest number of internationally prescribed terrorists in the world.
“A glaring example of the systemic violence against minorities in Pakistan was the large-scale brutality perpetrated against the minority Christian community in Jaranwala, in Pakistan's Faisalabad District in August 2023, where a total of 19 churches were gutted and 89 Christian houses were burnt down. The condition of women belonging to minority communities in Pakistan notably Hindu Sikhs and Christians remains deplorable. According to a recent report published by Pakistan's own Human Rights Commission, an estimated 1,000 women from minority communities are subjected to abduction, forced conversion and marriage in Pakistan every year. Pakistan has been the home and patron to the largest number of internationally prescribed terrorist entities and individuals in the world,” she said.
India called upon Pakistan to take credible action against the perpetrators of terror attacks in India. India also cited three actions that Pakistan needs to take in order to bring peace in South Asia.
“Instead of engaging in technical sophistry, we call upon Pakistan to take credible and verifiable action against the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks whose victims await justice even after 15 years,” Gahlot said.
“In order for there to be peace in South Asia, the actions that Pakistan needs to take are threefold. First, stop cross-border terrorism and shut down its infrastructure of terrorism immediately. Second, vacate Indian territories under its illegal and forcible occupation. And third, stop the grave and persistent human rights violations against the minorities in Pakistan,” she added.
India has repeatedly raised its concern over Pakistan's support of cross-border terrorism and has asserted that terror and talks cannot go together. India has also provided evidence at various international forums of Pakistan's support for Terrorist groups. Pakistan’s caretaker PM however harped on what he called the illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir.
(With ANI inputs)