Pakistan hit back at India after the latter described occupied Kashmir as an “internal matter” and levelled allegations of sponsoring terrorism against the former.
After Prime Minister Imran Khan wrapped up his fiery address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Friday, in which he criticised the world for its silence on Indian actions in occupied Kashmir, the Indian delegation exercised its right to reply.
In her speech, India’s First Secretary Sneha Dubey said Pakistan played the “victim of terrorism” but instead fostered terrorists in its backyard.
She also claimed that occupied Kashmir and Ladakh “were, are and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India”.
In response, Pakistani representative Saima Saleem said that occupied Kashmir was not a “so-called integral part of India nor is it India’s internal matter”.
“India remains in occupation of an internationally recognised disputed territory whose final disposition needs to be decided in accordance with the democratic principle of a free and impartial plebiscite under UN auspices, as provided for under numerous resolutions of the Security Council,” she said.
She said that India was levelling baseless allegations and relying on “outright lies and obfuscation” to divert attention from human rights violations in occupied Kashmir.
“India’s compulsive obsession with Pakistan is neither new nor surprising. It has permeated its ruling elite and governance structures.
“But there is a method to this obsession as it underpins India’s electoral and foreign policy under the ruling RSS-BJP ‘Hindutva’ inspired government.”
She said that the EU Disinfo lab had explained how India has used such tools of deflection, deception and disinformation against Pakistan, including at the United Nations.
She said that Indian human rights violations in occupied Kashmir were also documented in two reports by the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights.
“Since August 5, 2019, the High Commissioner has urged India to ‘unlock the situation and fully restore the rights that are currently being denied’ to the people of IIOJK [Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir].
“Several other special rapporteurs and mandate holders have also termed the human rights situation in IIOJK in a ‘free fall’. Major human rights organisations, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have expressed similar serious concerns about India’s human rights violations, including in occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
“Not surprisingly, Indian authorities have failed to respond to any of these communications.”
The Pakistani representative said a witch hunt had been launched against those who “dared to report the crimes”.
“Only last year, Amnesty International ceased work in India citing constant harassment at the hands of the government,” she pointed out.
She added that the Pakistani government had recently released a comprehensive dossier on the systemic and widespread human rights violations being perpetrated by Indian security forces in the occupied valley.