'Patron to maximum terror outfits,' India slams Pakistan for bringing up Kashmir in UN

First Secretary in India's Permanent Mission to the UN Petal Gahlot. Photo: Screengrab/UN TV

United Nations: India on Friday strongly hit out at Pakistan after its caretaker leader raked up Kashmir in his address to the UN General Assembly.

In a sharp attack at Pakistan, New Delhi said that the home and patron to the largest number of proscribed terrorist entities in the world should take credible action against perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks instead of engaging in technical sophistry.

First Secretary in India's Permanent Mission to the UN Petal Gahlot exercised India's Right of Reply in the UNGA after Pakistan's caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar ul Haq Kakar raised the Kashmir issue in his address at the General Debate during the high-level 78th session of UNGA on Friday.

“Pakistan has been the home and patron to the largest number of internationally proscribed terrorist entities and individuals in the world. Instead of engaging in technical sophistry, we call upon Pakistan to take credible and verifiable action against the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks, whose victims await justice even after 15 years,” Gahlot said in the scathing response.

She said Pakistan needs to take three-fold action for there to be peace in South Asia.

First, stop cross-border terrorism and shut down its infrastructure of terrorism immediately. Second, vacate Indian territories under its illegal and forcible occupation, and third, stop the grave and persistent human rights violations against the minorities in Pakistan.

In his address earlier, Kakar said Pakistan desired peaceful and productive relations with all its neighbours, including India. "Kashmir is the key to peace between Pakistan and India," he said.

Gahlot reiterated that the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are an integral part of India.

Matters pertaining to the UTs of J and K and Ladakh are purely internal to India. Pakistan has no locus standi to comment on our domestic matters.

The young Indian diplomat asserted that as a country with one of the world's worst human rights records, particularly when it comes to minority and women's rights, Pakistan "would do well to put its own house in order before venturing to point a finger at the world's largest democracy.

India stressed that Pakistan has become a habitual offender when it comes to misusing the august forum of the United Nations to peddle baseless and malicious propaganda against India.

Gahlot said the member states of the United Nations and other multilateral organisations are well aware that Pakistan does so to deflect the international community's attention away from its own abysmal record on human rights".

Citing a glaring example of the systemic violence against minorities in Pakistan, Gahlot referred to the large-scale brutality perpetrated against the minority Christian community in Jaranwala in the country's Faisalabad district in August 2023, where a total of 19 churches were gutted and 89 Christian houses burnt down.

Similar treatment has been meted out to the Ahmadiyyas whose places of worship have been demolished.

The condition of women belonging to minority communities in Pakistan, notably Hindus, Sikhs and Christians, remains deplorable, she said.

According to a recent report published by Pakistan's own human rights commission, an estimated 1000 women from minority communities are subjected to abduction, forced conversion and marriage in Pakistan every year, Gahlot added.

A Pakistani diplomat took the floor to exercise Islamabad's Right to Reply to India's response.

India fields its young female and male diplomats posted at its Permanent Mission in New York to give scathing and hard-hitting responses to Pakistan's Presidents, Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers, who repeatedly raise the issue of Jammu and Kashmir in their annual addresses to the high-level General Assembly sessions.

(With PTI inputs.)

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