NEW YORK: Indian sponsorship of terror and aggression against all its neighbours has made the country the “mother of terrorism” in South Asia, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi has said at the United Nations General Assembly while rejecting India’s sweeping allegations about the country’s involvement in terrorist acts.
“India has considerable experience in the state sponsorship of terrorism in our region,” she said while responding to Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s 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, Lodhi denounced Swaraj’s remarks as an “orgy of slander”. “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 assembly.
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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.
Ambassador Lodhi said India had “sponsored and perpetrated terrorism and aggression against all its neighbours; creating terrorist groups, destabilising 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, declared 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 envoy said. India had accepted these resolutions, but avoided implementing them through “obfuscation, diversion, deceit and aggression”, she said. 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.”
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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 have 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 the 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.”
India, she said, now also refused to hold bilateral dialogue with Pakistan, either composite or comprehensive, saying there must be an end to violence. “Violence emanates, first and foremost, from India’s occupation and brutal suppression of the Kashmiri people,” she pointed out.
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Lodhi said Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi 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. She urged the UN to take steps to investigate India’s ongoing and massive violations of human rights in Kashmir, end the impunity enjoyed by its 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 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.”
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Pakistan, she said, had in its custody an intelligence officer, Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav, who had confessed to India’s support to terrorist activities in Pakistan.
Deploring the Indian minister’s attempt to denigrate Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the envoy said, “All I can say about India’s current political luminaries is that they belong to a political organisation that has the blood of thousands of Muslims of Gujarat on its hands.” Today, she said, this so-called “largest democracy” was 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,” 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 Muslims’. It is a government which has allowed the lynching of Muslims.”