India on Friday (local time) took on Pakistan at the United Nations (UN) and urged it to stop cross-border terrorism, dismantle terror infrastructure on its soil and vacate Indian territories under its illegal occupation.
The response came after Pakistan’s interim prime minister Anwar Ul Haq Kakar raked up the Kashmir issue during his address to the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.
India exercised its right to reply to Pakistan’s speech at the UNGA and hit out at Islamabad for repeatedly misusing international forums to peddle anti-propaganda against New Delhi. It stressed that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and Pakistan had no locus standi to comment on the issue.
“Pakistan has become a habitual offender when it comes to misusing this forum to peddle baseless and malicious propaganda against India. Member states of the UN and other multilateral organisations are well aware that Pakistan does so to deflect the international community’s attention away from its own abysmal record on human rights,” First Secretary at UN for the second committee of UNGA, Petal Gahlot, said.
“We reiterate that the Union Territories (UTs) of Jammu and Kashmir are an integral part of India. Matters pertaining to the UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are purely internal to India. Pakistan has no locus standi to comment on our domestic matters,” she 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,” Gahlot stated.
The diplomat said Pakistan should take credible and verifiable action against the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, instead of “engaging in technical sophistry”.
Taking on Pakistan for its abysmal human rights records, Gahlot highlighted instances of attacks on minority communities in that country.
“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. 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,” she said.
“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 further said.
India has repeatedly told Pakistan that terror and talks could not go together and has highlighted its concerns over Islamabad’s support and sponsoring of cross-border terrorism.
Earlier during his address, Kakar, Pakistan’s interim prime minister, said his country wanted peace with India, and asserted that “Kashmir is the key to peace between the two countries”.
Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is representing India at the UN and will address the 78th session of the UNGA on September 26.
(with inputs from ANI)