ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and India engaged in a bitter diplomatic spat on Thursday after the nuclear-armed neighbours accused each other of escalating violence in the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir.
Speaking at a news conference at the Foreign Office, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz directed scathing criticism at India for carrying out ‘state-sponsored terrorism’ to suppress the legitimate Kashmir freedom struggle.
As the adviser spoke in Islamabad, India’s Union Minister Rajnath Singh accused Pakistan of destabilising India and the country’s external affairs ministry alleged Islamabad was inciting violence in the disputed valley.
“We have seen reports about rallies, events and statements related to Jammu and Kashmir. We once again ask Pakistan to stop inciting violence and terrorism in any part of our country,” a statement by the Indian ministry said.
However, Sartaj Aziz dismissed Indian objections and made it clear that it was not Pakistan but India, which was violating the UN Security Council resolutions on Kashmir. “The spontaneous and widespread uprising proves that Kashmir struggle is indigenous and rejects the Indian accusations against Pakistan for stirring trouble in Indian Administrated Kashmir,” the adviser said.
He insisted that Indian attempts to claim that the deteriorating human rights situation in Kashmir is India’s internal affair “is factually incorrect, legally untenable and indeed a violation of international law and UNSC resolutions.”
“Such a brutal use of force is a blatant violation of fundamental rights of the Kashmiri people especially the right to life,” he said. “It is a clear manifestation of state-terrorism to suppress Kashmiris’ voice for the right to self-determination,” he further added.
The adviser told reporters that Pakistan would approach the UN Human Rights Council with a request to send a fact finding mission in Indian Kashmir for investigations into the recent killings of innocent civilians.
“Firing by the Indian forces on peaceful protesters is not acceptable under any circumstances,” the adviser said. He accused Indian armed forces of using live ammunition on mobs.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2016.