Pakistan has described Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s address to the UN as a “litany of falsehoods” and “a travesty of facts and history”.
Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, said Jammu and Kashmir “never was and can never be an integral part of India”, reiterating her country’s claim over the state after Sushma Swaraj suggested to Pakistan to abandon the dream of capturing the territory.
Lodhi, in Pakistan’s Right of Reply, cast doubts on the September 18 attack in Uri that has spiked tensions between the two neighbours.
She said the attack “has all the hallmarks of an operation designed to divert attention from India’s atrocities in occupied Jammu and Kashmir”.
Lodhi was referring to the ongoing unrest in Jammu and Kashmir that has left 88 people dead in clashes between unarmed people and government forces, triggered by the July 8 killing of a militant commander.
The envoy termed the deaths in the Kashmir Valley as “worst form of state terrorism, a war crime, that India has continued to perpetrate…in Jammu and Kashmir for the past many decades”.
Lodhi strongly countered the allegations “designed principally to deflect global attention from the brutalities…against innocent and unarmed Kashmiri children, women and men”.
“Jammu and Kashmir never was and can never be an integral part of India. It is a disputed territory, the final status of which has yet to be determined in accordance with several resolutions of the UN Security Council.”
She also rebutted Sushma Swaraj’s remarks that India had laid no pre-conditions for peace talks with Pakistan.
“India suspended talks more than a year ago, and has refused to resume them despite repeated offers from Pakistan and advice from the international community.”
In response to Swaraj’s reference to Pakistani national Bahadur Ali who was arrested in Kashmir, Lodhi said the recently captured “Indian spy, an intelligence officer,” Kulbhushan Yadav, has “confessed” to India’s support to terrorist and subversive activities particularly in Balochistan and Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
“Indeed, it was Kulbhushan, who was financing, arming and supporting individuals and entities listed under the UN sanctions regime,” Lodhi said.
She said India’s “policy of interference” in Pakistan, especially its attempt to destabilise Balochistan, are now on record.
“The message that Kashmir is an integral part of India should be loud and clear,” India today told Pakistan, calling it a “dysfunctional state” that commits atrocities on its own people and preaches about tolerance, democracy and human rights.
Responding to Pakistan’s Right of Reply (RoR), India also asked Pakistan if it can clarify how terror safe havens continue to flourish on its soil despite getting billions of dollars in anti-terrorism aid.
First Secretary in the Indian Mission to the UN, Eenam Gambhir, in India’s Right of Reply to Lodhi’s remarks, said that it appears that the Pakistani envoy “did not hear clearly what our Minister of External Affairs stated during her address earlier today”.
Quoting Swaraj that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India, and will always continue to do so, Gambhir said “we hope that the message is loud and clear”.
In a second RoR, a Pakistani representative reiterated that Kashmir remains an internationally-recognised disputed territory.
Gambhir responded by saying that Pakistan has yet again “chosen to stay silent” on the tough questions. (PTI)