GENEVA – India tore into Pakistan at the UN Human Rights Council Sept. 10 for raking up the Jammu and Kashmir issue, saying a country with a "gory record" on human rights had presented a "false" and "concocted" narrative and asserted that New Delhi will accept no foreign interference on the internal matter.
India highlighted that Pakistan is the "epicenter of terrorism,” which conducts cross-border terrorism "as a form of alternate diplomacy” vis-a-vis India, and cautioned the world body against allowing its platform to be misused by such nations.
"Pakistan has today pretended to speak as the voice of the global community on human rights. But the world cannot be fooled. Pakistan's gory record speaks for itself," said Vimarsh Aryan, First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of India to UNHRC.
He was responding on behalf of India to Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi's address in which he leveled wild and unsubstantiated allegations regarding Jammu and Kashmir.
"I have been forced to take the floor to call out the blatant misrepresentation of facts and false narrative peddled by Pakistan in all its statements today. This is an ill-disguised effort to advance its territorial ambitions. We reject this propaganda," Aryan said exercising the right to reply.
"We are not surprised at Pakistan's hysterical statements with false, fabricated narratives aimed to politicize and polarize this forum. Pakistan realizes that our recent decision cuts the very ground from under its feet by creating obstacles in its continuing sponsorship of cross-border terrorism against India," the senior Indian diplomat said.
Hitting out at Pakistan, Aryan said, "This rhetoric will not distract international attention from Pakistan's persecution and elimination of religious and ethnic minorities – be it the Christians, Sikhs, Shias, Ahmadiyas and Hindus. This is the reason that Pakistan no longer publishes official statistics about its minorities as India does.
"Jammu & Kashmir has been, is and shall continue to be an integral part of India. Pakistan's nefarious designs will never succeed because the people of India are united in their determination to preserve our territorial integrity along with our core values of democracy, tolerance and unity in diversity. Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh will continue to progress and prosper along with the rest of India," the diplomat declared.
Earlier, Secretary (East) in the External Affairs Ministry Vijay Thakur Singh, while hitting out at Pakistan, said, "Those who abet, finance and support terrorism in any form on territory under their control are in truth the worst violators of human rights."
She said Pakistan was crying victim when it actually is the "perpetrator" of human rights violations and cautioned the world body against its platform being misused.
Justifying the steps, Singh said these will end gender discrimination, including on property rights and local bodies representation, ensure better protection of juvenile rights and laws against domestic violence, provide for rights to education, information and work besides ending longstanding discrimination against refugees and underprivileged sections.
On restrictions imposed in Jammu and Kashmir, she said "temporary preventive and precautionary measures were necessitated to ensure safety and security of our citizens in the face of credible threats of cross-border terrorism."
Perhaps revealing his inner conscience, Qureshi Sept. 10 admitted that Jammu and Kashmir is an "Indian state.”
"India has given an impression to the world that life has returned to normalcy (in Jammu and Kashmir). If the life has returned to normalcy, then I say why don't they allow you, international media, why don't they allow international organizations, the NGOs, civil society organizations to go into the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir and see for themselves what the reality is," he said here.
Qureshi was speaking to media persons after addressing the UN Human Rights Commission during which he made several claims and levelled unsubstantiated allegations against India.
Pakistan's move to take the issue to the UNHRC comes after facing rebuff from most of the countries to its attempts to rope in third-party intervention to make India revoke its decision.
AP adds from Geneva: Pakistan’s foreign minister warned Sept. 10 that India’s “illegal occupation” of Muslim-majority Kashmir could drive the nuclear-armed countries “into an accidental war.”
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi accused India at a session of the U.N.-backed Human Rights Council of turning Kashmir “into the largest prison on this planet.” He alleged some Kashmiris were tortured and raped in the region claimed by both Pakistan and India.
“I shudder to mention the word ‘genocide’ here, but I must,” Qureshi said.
“Once the curfew is lifted, the reality comes out, the world will wake up to the catastrophe that is underway right now,” Qureshi told reporters.
Pakistan also issued a statement on behalf of about 60 nations calling for respect of human rights, an end to the curfew and communications shutdown in Kashmir and “unhindered access” for international media and human rights groups in Kashmir.
India’s envoy, Foreign Affairs Vice Minister Vijay Thakur Singh, lashed out against “one delegation” at the Human Rights Council for giving “a running commentary with offensive rhetoric, of false allegations and concocted charges against my country.”
“India is acting irresponsibly. They’re being belligerent,” Qureshi said. “And if there is a false-flag operation, which we fear, and they use it as a pretext and carry out some misadventure against Pakistan, we will respond.”
“We will respond with force,” he added. “And, you never know, we could be into an accidental war.”
He noted that U.S. President Trump had offered to mediate.