UNITED NATIONS: A top Pakistani diplomat has categorically rejected India’s sweeping allegations about Pakistan’s involvement in terrorist acts, and cited instances of the Indian sponsorship of terrorism and aggression against all its neighbours making the country the “mother of terrorism” in South Asia.
“India has considerable experience in the state sponsorship of terrorism in our region,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistani permanent representative to the UN, told the the UN General Assembly on Saturday evening, while responding to the Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj speech in which she called Pakistan “the pre-eminent export factory for terror.”
In a hard-hitting statement made in exercise of her right of reply, the Pakistani envoy denounced Ms. Swaraj’s statement earlier in the day as an “orgy of slander” against her country.
“Her comments towards my country betray the hostility that the Indian leadership has towards Pakistan – hostility we have endured for 70 years.”
Jammu and Kashmir was not a part of India, but a disputed territory, and the Indian occupation was illegal, she told the 193-member Assembly.
She called for the implementation of relevant Security Council resolutions and for a UN Special Envoy to be appointed to ensure India’s adherence to its legal obligations, adding that Pakistan was committed to openness and dialogue with India so long as it ended its campaign of subversion.
Elaborating, Ambassador Lodhi said India had “sponsored and perpetrated terrorism and aggression against all its neighbours; creating terrorist groups; destabilizing and blockading neighbours to do its strategic bidding and sponsoring subversion, sabotage and terrorism in various parts of Pakistan.”
“India’s proclivity to violence is also no secret. In the 70 years since its independence it has been engaged in at least over a dozen instances of the use of force and continues to face 17 insurgencies in its own land. It has fought a war with or in each of its neighbours.”
The UN Security Council had, in over a dozen resolutions, decided that the dispute must be resolved by enabling the people of Jammu and Kashmir to determine their own destiny through a UN-supervised plebiscite, the Pakistani envoy said. India had accepted these UN resolutions, but avoided implementing them through “obfuscation, diversion, deceit and aggression.”
India’s brutal occupation of Kashmir had killed over 100,000 innocent Kashmiris, she said.
“Today, that campaign of brutality continues, including the shooting and blinding of innocent Kashmiri children with pellet guns. Yet, every day, these Kashmiri children, women and youth come out on the streets to demand that India get out of occupied Kashmir.”
Any inter-state dispute, like Kashmir, was by definition an “international” dispute, Ambassador Lodhi said.
“If the parties fail to resolve a dispute, the UN and the international community has not only the right but the obligation to intervene and help to resolve the dispute.”
“In the case of Jammu and Kashmir, that obligation is explicit; since the UN Security council has been involved with the dispute since its very inception; and because the Council has prescribed very specifically and precisely how the dispute should be resolved.”
Rejecting the Indian minister’s claim that UN Security Council resolutions had been “overtaken,” she said, “Law has no expiry date. Morality has no sell-by date.”
“India’s posture is that of the predator. It cannot escape its legal and moral obligation to abide by the resolutions of the Security Council,” the Pakistani envoy said.
India, she said, now also refuses a bilateral dialogue with Pakistan, either composite or comprehensive, saying there must be an end of violence.
“Violence emanates, first and foremost, from India’s occupation and brutal suppression of the Kashmiri people,” she pointed out.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, he said, had proposed that the UN Secretary-General should appoint a Special Envoy- as several of his predecessors did- to promote the implementation of the relevant provisions of the Security Council resolutions as the dialogue process had been derailed.
Ambassador Lodhi also urged the UN to take steps to investigate India’s ongoing and massive violations of human rights in Kashmir, end the impunity enjoyed by India’s security forces, lift the draconian emergency laws and punish those responsible for the war crimes and genocide in Kashmir.
“If the international community wishes to avoid a dangerous escalation between India and Pakistan, it must call on India to halt its provocations and aggressive actions,” she said. “It must end the ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC). It must halt its sponsorship of terrorist groups against Pakistan.”
Ambassador Lodhi said the UN should define terrorism, but said it should include “state terrorism”. “The state terrorism which the Indian National Security Adviser (Ajit Doval) has boasted is being sponsored by India’s spy agencies in Pakistan’s Balochistan province in what he called a ‘double squeeze’ strategy.” Pakistan, she said, had in its custody an intelligence officer, Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav, who confessed to India?s support to terrorist activities in Pakistan.
Deploring the Indian minister’s attempt to denigrate Pakistan’s founding father, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the Pakistani envoy said, “All I can say about India’s current political luminaries is that they belong to a political organization that has the blood of thousands of Muslims of Gujarat on its hands.”
Today, she said, this so-called “largest democracy” is the world’s largest “hypocrisy”.
“It is ruled by a government in which a racist and fascist ideology is firmly embedded. The leadership of this Government emanates from the RSS, the same extremist group, which is accused of assassinating Mahatma Gandhi,” ambassador Lodhi said.
“It is a government which has appointed a fanatic as the Chief minister of India’s largest state whose rallying cry to his mobs was: ‘If they kill one Hindu, we will kill 100 Muslim’. It is a government, which has allowed the lynching of Muslims.”—APP