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Kashmir dominates India-Pakistan face-off at the UN: Here’s what happened

Srinagar: India and Pakistan, once again, at the United Nations General Assembly 2018, stood as arch rivals, accusing each other of all the wrongs happening in their respective countries. Kashmir dispute, remained under the spot light as both, once again accused each other of harbouring ‘terrorism’ in the disputed region.

The External Affairs Minister of India Sushma Swaraj said the climate change and terrorism are the biggest challenges the world is facing.

While talking about terrorism, she slammed Pakistan for “spawning grounds for terrorism”, saying the country sheltered Osama Bin Laden. She said Pakistan’s commitment to terrorism as an instrument of official policy has not abated one bit.

“In our case, terrorism is bred not in some faraway land, but across our border. Our neighbour’s expertise is not restricted to spawning grounds for terrorism; it is also an expert in trying to mask malevolence with verbal duplicity,” Swaraj said.

Recently, Pak Premier Imran Khan, in a letter to Indian PM Modi offered talks. However, India rejected talks after three cops were killed in Kashmir. India also gave the reason that Pakistan glorifies ‘terrorists’ after they issued postage stamps featuring slain Hizb commander Burhan Wani.

Sushma Swaraj.

“We are accused of sabotaging the process of talks. This is a complete lie. We believe that talks are only rational means to resolve the most complex of disputes. Talks with Pakistan have begun many times. If they stopped, it was only because of their behavior.”

Swaraj added, “Who can be a greater transgressor of human rights than a terrorist? Those who take innocent human lives in pursuit of war by other means are defenders of inhuman behavior, not of human rights. Pakistan glorifies killers; it refuses to see the blood of innocents.”

Below is the full speech of the Indian External Affairs Minister:

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In his speech, the Foreign Affairs Minister of Pakistan,  Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Hussain Qureshi, noted that Pakistan’s desire for a relationship with India “based on sovereign equality and mutual respect.”

Explaining that they were to meet on the sidelines of this year’s General Assembly, he said that India, for the third time, called off their dialogue.

“They preferred politics over peace,” asserted Qureshi. “They used the pretext of stamps issued months ago, of a Kashmiri activist and depicting grave human rights violations, including pellet gun victims, as an excuse to back out from the talks.”

Qureshi, while raising the Kashmir issue, said that the dispute remains a blot on the conscience of humanity. 

“The unresolved Jammu and Kashmir dispute hinders the realization of the goal of durable peace between our two countries. For over seventy years now, it has remained on the agenda of the UN Security Council and a blot on the conscience of humanity. For seventy years the people of occupied Jammu & Kashmir have struggled for their rights of self-determination in the face of overwhelming oppression and gross violations of their fundamental human rights by the Indian occupation forces.”

Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

He added, “There can be no lasting peace in South Asia without a just settlement of the Kashmir dispute based on the UN Security Council resolutions and the will of the Kashmiri people.”

He pointed out that Pakistan welcomes the recently released report by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding human rights abuse in Kashmir, adding that the report vindicates Pakistan’s position.

“The report rightly lifts the veil from decades of obfuscation and chronicles the massive ongoing violations of human rights in Indian Occupied Kashmir. It vindicates our position. No longer the excuse of terrorism can be used to continue to systematically oppress the Kashmiri people. Pakistan endorses the UN Report and calls for early institution of a Commission of Inquiry under UN auspices to investigate and fix responsibility,” Qureshi mentioned.

Qureshi while talking about the inequality within and among countries, said that the ‘edifice of global order is under assault.’

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister accused India of carrying out the attack on an Army School in Peshawar in which more than 150 kids were killed.

“Pakistan shall never forget the mass murder of more than 150 children in a Peshawar School, the terrible Mastung attack and many others that have links with terrorists supported by India. And we will never forget the terrorist attack in India against Samjhota Express carrying innocent Pakistanis – and now its confessed perpetrators are being allowed to walk free. We wanted to share this evidence with India and the international community on who supported these acts of violence and terrorism. We have already shared this evidence with the UN,” Qureshi said.

He added, “We have in our custody a serving Indian Naval officer, Commander Kalbhushan Yadav, who has provided us with the most incriminating evidence by accepting that he, on the instructions of his government, financed, planned and executed acts of terrorism and violence in Pakistan. This is but one Indian state sponsored official terrorist. Many more are launched inside Pakistan to create terror and mayhem by our eastern neighbour. And it is India, that in plain sight of the international community, perpetrates state sponsored terrorism in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of India. It is the concern of the United Nations, as Jammu and Kashmir remains on the agenda of the UN Security Council.”

Below is the full speech of Qureshi at UNGA 2018:

After External Affairs Minister of India, Sushma Swaraj alleged Islamabad for sponsorship of cross-border terrorism, Pakistan’s envoy to the United Nations Saad Warraich, during the right to reply trained guns at RSS and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and alleged that there was no room for dissent in “illiberal India of today”.

Exercising the First Right of Reply, Warraich accused the RSS, BJP’s ideological mentor, of supporting the spread of ‘terrorism and fascism’ through its centres. While raising the Kashmir issue, Warraich said that India should shun the state of denial and accept that fact that Kashmir is an international dispute and UN has expressly ascertained that a plebiscite should be held in the region.

In their First Right to Reply, India  denounced Pakistan’s “preposterous” attempt to exploit and dishonour the memory of the innocent victims of the 2014 Peshawar school massacre by making false allegations against India.

“The despicable insinuation made by the Foreign Minister of Pakistan (Shah Mahmood Qureshi) dishonours the memory of the innocent lives lost to terrorists that day,” Eenam Gambhir, an Indian diplomat, told the General Assembly on Saturday denouncing Qureshi’s claim that India was behind the attack that was carried out by the Pakistan Taliban.

Gambhir also pointed out that the “new” Pakistan is not much different from the past. Fake allegations and fake facts are counterproductive, she said, adding that Pakistan must make moves towards ending its misinformation and choosing a new path based on the truth.

 

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