For second day, Pakistan raises Kashmir at UN; India hits back at ‘failed state’
United Nations, March 10: Responding to Islamabad’s bid to raise the Kashmir issue for a second day on Friday at the UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, India denounced Pakistan as a “failed state” where terrorists thrive and Osama Bin Laden received protection and demanded that it bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai, Pathankot and Uri attacks to justice.
“Even as terrorists thrive in Pakistan and roam its streets with impunity, we have heard it lecture about the protection of human rights in India,” Mini Devi Kumam, a Second Secretary at India’s UN Mission in Geneva, said.
“We await credible action by the Government of Pakistan to bring all those involved in the 2008 Mumbai attack and the 2016 Pathankot and Uri attacks to justice,” she said.
“The world does not need lessons on democracy and human rights from a country whose own situation is charitably described as a failed state,” she added.
Kumam was responding to Tahir Andrabi, Pakistan’s UN Deputy Permanent Representative in Geneva, who earlier on Friday invoked Jawaharlal Nehru to make his case for a plebiscite in Kashmir.
Andrabi said that at the heart of the Kashmir problem is the right to self-determination which was conceded by “the first Prime Minister of India, one of the founding fathers of India” and by the UN Security Council through a plebiscite.
Kumum said, “Pakistan keeps referring to UN Security Council Resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir. However, it very conveniently forgets its own obligation under these resolutions to first vacate the illegal occupation of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. It has also blatantly disregarded its other commitments, be it under the 1972 Simla Agreement or Lahore Declaration of February 1999.”
Instead, “they continue to support cross-border terrorism in India,” she said.
In the Simla Agreement signed by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and then-Pakistan President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the two countries agreed that the Kashmir issue is a bilateral issue that has to be resolved without third party involvement.
The Lahore Declaration by Prime Ministers Atal Bihari Vajpayee of India and Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan commits the two nations to avoid a nuclear arms race.
“It is extraordinary that the state which protected Osama Bin Laden and sheltered Mullah Omar should have the gumption to play the victim,” she said.
In “gross violation” of a Council, the UN-designated terrorists like Hafiz Mohammed Saeed are “freely operating with State support, and the UN designated entities are being politically mainstreamed in Pakistan,” she added.
Andrabi also accused India of “crimes against humanity” in Kashmir and of escalating ceasefire violations along the line of control and the border with his country as a diversionary tactic.
On Thursday, he said that the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner “must not falter in documenting human rights abuses by India and recognise that root of the problem is the illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir.”
But “the real problem in the State of Jammu and Kashmir is terrorism, which has constantly received sustenance from Pakistan and territories under its control,” Kumam said in reply. “We urge the Council to call on Pakistan to end cross-border infiltration; to dismantle special terrorist zones, safe havens and sanctuaries.”
“Terrorism is the grossest violation of human rights,” Kumam added.
She listed the various human rights violations against minorities in Pakistan and demanded remedies for them.
She said there should be “procedural and institutional safeguards to prevent misuse of blasphemy law; to end forced conversions and marriages of minorities, including Hindu, Sikh and Christian women, to prosecute all such cases; to stop targeting political dissidents and legitimate criticism in Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; to stop torture, enforced disappearances and unlawful killing; including that of journalists and activists by its security agencies and prosecute all perpetrators; to stop sectarian violence, systemic persecution and attacks on Muslim minorities, such as Shias, Ahmadiyas, Ismailia and Hazaras.”