Slamming Pakistan “for once again abusing” the United Nations Human Rights Council platform for peddling its “malicious propaganda”, India has urged the Council to ask Islamabad to take credible steps to end its state-sponsored terrorism and dismantle the terrorist infrastructure in the territories under its control.
Rejecting Pakistan’s statements, Pawan Kumar Badhe, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of India in Geneva, said “they don’t deserve our response”. India also rejected “the factually incorrect and unwarranted references” to India in the statement by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
Exercising its Right of Reply in response to the statement delivered by Pakistan, India said Islamabad has an abysmal record on the promotion and protection of the human rights of its people. “Its shameful history of committing genocide in what was then East Pakistan and what is now Bangladesh, over 50 years back, is well known and needs no reiteration.”
In its hard-hitting response, Badhe said Pakistan’s audacity, as a self-styled torchbearer for the human rights of the people of India, is appalling. He said the largest number of internationally proscribed terrorists have been operating with impunity on Pakistani soil.
“Considering its own top leadership has in the past openly acknowledged creating terrorist groups and training them to fight in Afghanistan and the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan’s audacity, as a self-styled torchbearer for human rights of the people of India, is appalling. It is well-documented that the largest number of internationally proscribed terrorists have been operating with impunity on Pakistani soil.
“Pakistan has thus been responsible for violating the most fundamental of human rights, the right to life, of their innocent victims and threatening peace and security not only in my country but the entire region. We urge the Council and its mechanisms to call upon Pakistan to take credible steps to end its state-sponsored terrorism and dismantle terrorist infrastructure in the territories under its control,” Badhe said.
He said Pakistan has one of the worst records in ensuring the right to freedom of religion or belief for its minorities. “Murder by vigilantes on flimsy allegations of blasphemy, extrajudicial killings, rape, abduction, forced conversion to Islam, forced marriage of minor girls and attacks on places of worship are a sad reality for Pakistan’s Hazaras, Shias, Ahmadiyas, Hindus, Sikhs and Chris-tians minorities. Discriminatory laws, coupled with deliberate apathy of law enforcement agencies, have ensured a climate of religious bigotry in which victimisation of minorities continues unabated,” he said.
Badhe said it is high time that the Council and its mechanisms held Pakistan to account for the systemic persecution of and institutional discrimination perpetrated against its religious and ethnic minorities.
“Extrajudicial abductions, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions and tortures have been used by Pakistan as tools of State Policy to target human rights defenders, political activists, students, and journalists and to crush dissent. People in regions such as Balochistan have suffered political and other repression and persecution for decades,” he said.
“Pakistan is thus well-advised to put its own house in order before pointing fingers at others. The Council would have benefitted had Pakistan addressed the deteriorating human rights situation within Pakistan in its statement,” he added. Badhe said OIC has failed to prevent Pakistan from misusing its platforms.
“We reject the factually incorrect and unwarranted references to India in the statement by OIC. We regret that the OIC countries, with whom we share close ties, have failed in preventing Pakistan from misusing OIC platforms to push anti-India propaganda,” he said. Pakistan has made references to Jammu and Kashmir in its statement at United Nations Human Rights Council’s general debate. Its envoy also delivered a statement to the Council on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.