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  India   All India  01 Oct 2018  Pak cooked up India link to terror, says envoy at UN

Pak cooked up India link to terror, says envoy at UN

Published : Oct 1, 2018, 6:37 am IST
Updated : Oct 1, 2018, 6:37 am IST

Slams Islamabad for raising Kashmir issue at UN, says J&K will remain integral part of India.

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday. (Photo: AP)
 Pakistan's Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday. (Photo: AP)

New Delhi/New York: India on Sunday strongly hit back at Pakistan for the “preposterous allegation” its foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi made at the UN General Assembly that terrorists behind the 2014 attack on a Peshawar school were “supported” by India, saying the “despicable insinuation” dishonours the memory of the children kill-ed in the assault. New Delhi also scoffed at the new Imran Khan-led Pakistani government’s claim of ushering in a “naya (new) Pakistan”, saying, that what Pakistan’s “new” foreign minister had said “was a ‘New Pakistan’ cast in the mold of old”.

Making a highly outrageous claim, the Pakistan foreign minister said earlier, “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.”

Reeling under external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj’s blistering attack on Saturday that had put Islamabad on the mat on the issue of terrorism at the UN General Assembly, a furious Pakistan in turn on Sunday accused India and the RSS of terrorism at the UNGA on Sunday. A Pakistani diplomat at the UNGA, while exercising Islamabad’s first right of reply said, “The breeding ground of terrorism in our region are the RSS centres of fascism. The claims of religious superiority are perpetrated through state patronage all across India.”

But Indian diplomat from the country’s Permanent Mission to the UN, Eenam Gambhir, exercised India’s Right of Reply and rejected Islamabad’s baseless allegations. “Among the most outrageous was the preposterous allegation relating to the horrific terror attack on a Peshawar school four years ago,” Ms Gambhir said. Ms Gambhir also took a dig at Mr Qureshi’s emph-asis on a “new Pakistan” under Mr Khan, saying while the Indian delegation had come to listen to Pakist-an’s “new” foreign minister outline the vision of a new Pakistan, “what we heard is a ‘New Pak-istan’ cast in the mold of old.”

She reminded the new Pakistan government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, that there was an outpouring of sorrow and pain in India following the massacre of children in 2014. She said both the Houses of India’s Parliament had expressed solidarity while paying respects to those killed.

“Schools all over India had observed two minutes of silence in their memory. The despicable insinuation made by the foreign minister of Pakistan dishonours the memory of the innocent lives lost to terrorists that day,” Ms Gambhir said. She said the allegation was a “desperate attempt” to look away from the monster of terror Pakistan has created in its quest to destabilise its neighbours and covet their territory.

The Peshawar attack was carried out by heavily-armed 8-10 Taliban suicide bombers, who stormed the Army-run school and took several hostages. The attackers wearing paramilitary Frontier Corps uniforms had entered the school and started indiscriminate firing.

Ms Gambhir tore into Pakistan’s claim that it has turned the tide against terrorism, saying a fact-check of this claim will give a different picture. She asked if Pakistan can deny the fact that it is the “host and patron” of 132 of the UN-designated terrorists and 22 terrorist entities listed under the UN Security Council Sanctions regimes.

“Will Pakistan deny that the UN-designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed enjoys a free run inside Pakistan and spews venom and sets up candidates for electoral offices,” she said.

With Mr Qureshi again raking up the Kashmir issue, Ms Gambhir asserted that India is making it clear to the “new government” of Pakistan that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is and will remain an integral part of India. India also ripped through efforts of the ‘New Pakistan’ to champion human rights.

“This is vintage verbal duplicity,” Ms Gambhir said, citing the example of Princeton economic professor Atif Mian. The economist was appointed and removed by Mr Khan’s government from the Economic Advisory Council on the grounds that he belongs to a minority. Mr Mian is an Ahmadi, a religious minority of Pakistan.

“Before preaching to the world, championing of human rights should begin at home,” Ms Gambhir said. She said a report by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Kashmir, which Mr Qureshi mentioned and welcomed in his speech, is a publication that no UN member-state had asked for or supported and on which no action was taken. “The new foreign minister of Pakistan chose to term the gruesome killing of our security personnel by Pakistani-sponsored terrorists as ‘flimsy grounds’,” she said. She said Mr Qureshi’s speech was made up of “fake allegations and fake facts” which can only make for a “fake vision.”

Earlier, Pakistan foreign minister Mr Qureshi said in his speech, “Pakistan continues to face terrorism that is financed, facilitated and orchestrated by our eastern neighbour... We wanted to sit with India to discuss all issues, including terrorism.” Islamabad threw in everything from Kashmir to (former Indian naval officer) Kulbhushan Jadhav to the Peshawar school attack to lynching in order to make wild allegations against New Delhi. For instance, while mentioning pellet injuries in Kashmir, Pakistan conveniently did not mention the fact that security forces in the Kashmir Valley routinely come under attack from vicious pro-Pakistan stone-pelting mobs or the terrorism perpetrated by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists.

But the Pakistani diplomat during Islamabad’s first right of reply speech on Sunday sought to drag in instances of lynching in India, saying that “Muslims and Christians are publicly lynched at the hands of Hindu zealots”, with wild claims that “churches and mosques are torched”. “In Illiberal India of today, there is no room for dissent,” he claimed, adding, “hollow allegations of cross-border terrorism and phony bravado may win you an election, but will not win you peace”.

Tags: un general assembly, shah mahmood qureshi, sushma swaraj