The message by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India, didn’t go down well with Pakistan. Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN Maleeha Lodhi exercised the Right of Reply to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s UNGA address, saying Swaraj’s remarks were a “litany of falsehoods” about Pakistan and a “travesty of facts and history”. Lodhi said Jammu and Kashmir can never be an integral part of India and is a “disputed territory”, the final status of which has yet to be determined in accordance with several resolutions of the UN Security Council.
Responding to Pakistan’s RoR, India reaffirmed that Kashmir is and always will be an integral part of India. “…It appears that the distinguished representative of Pakistan did not hear clearly what our Minister of External Affairs stated during her address earlier today,” First Secretary in the Indian Mission to the UN Eenam Gambhir said, exercising India’s Right of Reply to Lodhi’s remarks. Quoting from Swaraj’s address, Gambhir said Jammu and Kashmir is India’s integral part and will always remain so. “We hope that the message is loud and clear,” she said. Gambhir said India rejects “entirely” Lodhi’s “sermons”, calling her remarks “the views of a dysfunctional state which builds atrocity upon atrocity on its own people, preaching about values of tolerance, democracy and human rights.”
Through the RoR, India slammed Pakistan for making a “fanciful and misleading” presentation on the situation in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, saying Lodhi’s remarks aim to divert the attention from Pakistan’s sponsorship of terror and do not answer questions posed by the world community. “Can the representative of Pakistan clarify how is it that terror sanctuaries and safe havens in her country continue to flourish despite the Pakistan army’s much-vaunted counter terrorism operations, and the billions of dollars of international counter terrorism aid it obtains? “Can the representative of Pakistan confirm that they do not use terrorist proxies and export terrorism as a matter of state policy,” Gambhir said adding that can the Pakistani envoy deny that her country had assured in 2004 that it would not allow its territories, or territories under its control,to be used for terror attacks against India?
“And can the representative of Pakistan deny that it has failed to honour that assurance given at the highest level,” Gambhir said. She also questioned whether the Pakistani representative will deny the armed forces of her country committed one of the most extensive and heinous genocides in human history in 1971. “Will the representative of Pakistan deny that its armed forces have used airstrikes and artillery against its own people repeatedly? Will (she) explain why is it that Pakistan’s civil society is being silenced by the plethora of heavily armed militias that go by names such as ‘Jaish’ or Army, ‘Lashkar’ or Army, ‘Sipah’ or Soldiers and ‘Harkat’ or Armed movement,” Gambhir said.
(With PTI inputs)