UNITED NATIONS: Rejecting Indian allegations linking Pakistan to terrorist acts, a Pakistani diplomat has said that the breeding grounds of terrorism in the region are, in fact, the “RSS centres of fascism” – India’s right-wing, Hindu nationalist and paramilitary organisation.
“One would indeed marvel at the credentials of the pontiff for who would be more qualified to talk of terrorism than those who practice it as an instrument of state policy,” Saad Ahmed Warraich, a counsellor at the Pakistan Mission to the United Nations, told the UN General Assembly on Saturday.
Warraich was exercising his right of reply to an Indian diplomat, Ennem Ghambir, who brushed aside Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s statement earlier in the day, saying India was linked to the massacre of children in the 2014 terrorist attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar.
“Her diatribe was a reflection not only of the deep-seated Indian hostility towards my country but was also reflective of the Indian habit of conflating fact with fabrication,” the Pakistani delegate said of his Indian counterpart.
“Pakistan shall never forget the mass murder of more than 150 children in a Peshawar school, the terrible Mastung attack and many others that have links with terrorists supported by India,” Qureshi had said.
Exercising his right to reply, the Pakistani diplomat said that in India, claims of religious superiority were perpetrated through state patronage all across the country and claimed that “the breeding grounds of terrorism in our region are the RSS centres of fascism”.
Denouncing BJP leader and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the Pakistani diplomat said that “unabashed Hindu extremist Yogi Adityanath, who openly advocates religious superiority of the Hindus, serves as the face of the largest Indian state Uttar Pradesh”.
Without taking BJP chief Amit Shah’s name, the diplomat said that several Bengalis in Assam have suddenly been made stateless and “have been called termites by a prominent Indian leader”.
“In illiberal India of today, there is no room for dissent,” he added.
“The Indian representative could have spoken of the agony of Farooq Ahmad Dar who was tied to an army jeep and paraded in front of unarmed Kashmiri protestors and used as a human shield; or Kaiser Bhatt, who was run over and killed by a military jeep,” Warraich said.
“India’s proclivity to violence is also no secret,” the Pakistan delegate said.
In the last 70 years, he added, India had been engaged in at least over a dozen instances of the use of force and continues to face 17 domestic insurgencies.
As for Jammu and Kashmir, the Pakistani diplomat urged his Indian counterpart to look beyond obfuscation and denial and to answer the following questions: Can India deny the situation in Jammu and Kashmir which is an internationally recognised dispute on which there exist a number of UN resolutions? Can India deny that the UN has expressly called for holding an impartial plebiscite to ascertain the wishes of the Kashmiri people? Can India deny that over 100,000 civilians have been killed in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir which are well-documented by human rights organizations and the international media? And, Can Indian deny that Indian armed forces have resorted to the indiscriminate use of force against innocent civilians causing widespread death and injury?
“While Indian occupation of Jammu and Kashmir has a little pretence to legitimacy, the true face of Indian occupation was exposed, yet again, by the recent report of the UN,” he said, adding that India cannot hide behind semantics any more.
Warraich further said, “You can regurgitate hollow allegations of cross-border terrorism against Pakistan but you cannot hide your egregious state-terrorism against defenceless people in occupied Kashmir.”
Ghambir, responding to comments made by her counterpart from Pakistan, rejected a number of allegations made against her country.
The “new” Pakistan is not much different from the past, she said. Fake allegations and fake facts are counterproductive, she said, adding that Kashmir was an integral part of India.