Pakistan rejects Indian allegations regarding damage to Buddhist cultural heritage in G-B

FO says Indian allegations are contrary to the historical facts

Our Correspondent June 04, 2020
FO spokesperson Aisha Farooqui. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday rejected Indian contentions regarding alleged damage to Buddhist cultural heritage in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B).

During the weekly press briefing, Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said Indian allegations are contrary to the historical facts, international law and relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions.

“[Indian Occupied] Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K) is a disputed territory recognised as such by the international community,” Spokesperson Farooqui said. “The dispute is the longest outstanding item on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) which remains unresolved due to forcible, brutal and illegal occupation of a part of Jammu and Kashmir by India since 1947. The regurgitation of false and preposterous Indian claims does not change the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir.”

The spokesperson added that the Indian government’s contentions concerning the Buddhist cultural heritage in Gilgit-Baltistan are preposterous and that these allegations are part of Indian leadership’s unrelenting anti-Pakistan propaganda.

“With its tarnished human rights record in IOJ&K and abdication of responsibility to protect its minorities from Hindu extremists, the RSS-BJP government has no credentials whatsoever even to feign concern for minorities, either at home or elsewhere,” Farooqui said.

She added that India's state terrorism and extrajudicial killings in fake encounters in IOJ&K, vandalisation and destruction of minorities’ places of worship including the historic Babri Mosque, lynchings by cow vigilantes under government's watch, Gujarat massacre of 2002 and targeted killings of Muslims in Delhi in February 2020, and rendering millions of people stateless with discriminatory steps such as NRC are well documented by international human rights and humanitarian organisations.

"Rather than pretending concern for minorities beyond its borders, it is time for Indian leadership to do serious introspection and take requisite steps to safeguard and protect the lives, rights and places of workshop of minorities in India," she said.

“India must realise that its baseless contentions about Gilgit-Baltistan cannot divert international attention away from the Jammu & Kashmir dispute and the need for its immediate resolution in accordance with the relevant UNSC Resolutions and aspirations of Kashmiri people,” the spokesperson said.

Farooqui stressed that no illegal and unilateral action or repetition of false claims by India can alter the disputed status of IOJ&K till the implementation of UNSC Resolutions through a free and impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices.

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