India exposed Pakistan’s lies on Jammu & Kashmir at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on Tuesday and said it will not allow any country to interfere in its internal affairs.
The tough response came hours after Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi urged the UN rights body to launch an investigation into the situation in Jammu & Kashmir after New Delhi imposed a clampdown there early last month following the removal of the special status to the region. Qureshi even alleged that the territory faces the risk of genocide.
Rebutting the charges levelled against India by Qureshi, secretary (East) in the ministry of external affairs Vijay Thakur Singh said her country’s recent move to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir was a sovereign decision.
The scrapping of Article 370 will ensure socio-economic equality and justice to a section of people in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh who, for decades, had faced gender discrimination and were denied the right to education, jobs and property.
Without naming Pakistan, Singh said a neighbouring country is spreading a false narrative on the situation in Jammu & Kashmir to malign India. But the world knows that country is the hub of global terrorism.
Article 370 was abrogated after a lengthy parliamentary debate telecast live and followed by millions of people on television.
Article 370 ‘temporary’
Singh’s colleague Vimarsh Aryan told the rights Council that Article 370 was a temporary constitutional provision and the decision to scrap it was India’s internal matter.
Pakistan is making hysterical and false statements on rights violations in Kashmir as India’s abrogation of Article 370 would create hurdles in its cross-border terrorism.
Pakistani leaders are trying to instigate violence in Kashmir to create a picture of genocide. But peace has been prevailing in Jammu & Kashmir since early August when its special status was taken away.
Aryan said it is Pakistan and not India that is persecuting minority communities within its own territories. Islamabad’s Kashmir rhetoric is only to divert the world’s attention from the mass rape and murder of religious and ethnic minorities such as Christians, Sikhs, Shias, Ahmadiyas and Hindus in Pakistan.
‘Largest prison on the planet’
Earlier, in his address, Qureshi alleged that since the abrogation of Article 370, Jammu and Kashmir had been turned into “the largest prison on this planet.”
People are denied access to basic amenities. The place reminds one of Rwanda, Srebrenica and the Rohingya, he said.
More than 6,000 Kashmiris had been arrested without due process and many were shipped to jails all over India.
India’s “cross-border terrorism” view to justify its clampdown on Jammu & Kashmir is only to divert international opinion.
He feared India might “even attack Pakistan”.
The Kashmir situation is not an “internal affair” as claimed by India. The matter had been on the UN agenda for seven decades.
If India has nothing to hide, it should allow unhindered access to the Commission of Inquiry, he said.
Pakistan is expected to present a resolution to the council for consideration by the end of the 42nd session on September 27.