India launched a scathing attack on Pakistan on Wednesday for supporting terrorist activities against it, describing terrorism as the “grossest violation of human rights” after Islamabad attempted to highlight alleged Indian rights violations in a UN forum.
Exercising its right to reply at the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva, India said that in recent times people of Pakistan-administered Kashmir had become “victims of sectarian conflict, terrorism and extreme economic hardship because of Pakistan’s occupation and discriminatory policies.”
Demanding that Pakistan stop its compulsive hostility against India, Indian diplomat Nabanita Chakrabarti said, “We also demand that Pakistan must fulfil its obligation to vacate illegal occupation of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).”
“The Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) is part of a pluralistic and secular democracy, where an independent judiciary, an active media and a vibrant civil society guarantee freedoms. In contrast, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is administered by a ‘deep state’ and has become a hub for the global export of terror,” said Chakrabarti.
Describing Pakistan’s attempts to raise alleged human rights violations in Kashmir as “fallacious references” about “internal matters”, Chakrabarti said “Terrorism is the grossest violation of human rights and should be so acknowledged by any impartial and objective observer.”
“Pakistan’s continued support for terror groups operating in Jammu and Kashmir is the main challenge to protecting the human rights of our citizens in the State. Pakistan’s selective approach in tackling terror groups operating outside Pakistan and within, despite the numerous solemn promises made, underscores the continuing unwillingness to acknowledge the truth,” she said.
This is the second time in two weeks that India has slammed Pakistan for trying to raise Kashmir at the UN Human Rights Forum.
In Geneva on Wednesday, Chakrabarti kept up the pressure on Pakistan.
“Apart from becoming the world’s terrorism factory, Pakistan has also alienated its own people through continued mistreatment of Hindus, Christians, Shias, Ahmadiyas and other minorities. In this Council, Pakistan has referred to the situation of minorities in India. Minorities in India have been prime ministers, presidents, vice-presidents, senior cabinet ministers, senior civil servants, cricket team captains, Bollywood superstars. Can the minorities of Pakistan claim even a shadow of this? All they have are blasphemy laws and relentless abuse and violation of their human rights,” she said.
“We do not accept attempts by Pakistan to denigrate the democratic choice that has been regularly exercised by the people of Jammu and Kashmir over the last six decades since our independence,” she added.
The two countries exchanged words at the same forum last year as well after protests erupted in Indian Kashmir following the death on 8 July of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani at the hands of Indian troops in Kashmir. Some 80 people were killed in the violence in Kashmir that India says was sponsored by Pakistan.
However, India’s decision to attend talks on the Indus Waters Treaty later this month in Lahore had given rise to hopes that the two countries might get back to the talks table.
Live Mint, March 16, 2017