India and Pakistan lock horns over Kashmir at the UN

United Nations: Responding to Pakistan’s invoking of promise of plebiscite made by India’s first Prime Minister Jawharlal Nehru, India called it a ‘failed state’ where terrorists thrive.

India at the UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva also said that Pakistan is a place where Osama bin Laden received protection. They also demanded that the perpetrators of the Mumbai, Pathankot and Uri attacks should be brought 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 the 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.

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“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 administered 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.

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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.

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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 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.”

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