The “only crowning glory” that Pakistan has to show to the world for the last seven decades is terrorism, ethnic cleansing, majoritarian fundamentalism and clandestine nuclear trade, India said in a scathing response on Friday, slamming Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s “incessant rant” and “venom” in the UN General Assembly.
“This august forum witnessed a new low on its 75th anniversary. The leader of Pakistan today called for those who incite hate and violence to be outlawed. But as he went on, we were left wondering, was he referring to himself?” First Secretary in the Permanent Mission of India to the UN Mijito Vinito said, making India’s Right of Reply.
The strong rebuttal came after Khan spoke about India’s internal affairs, including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, during his pre-recorded video statement at the high-level General Debate. Vinito, who was sitting at India’s seat in the UN General Assembly hall for the General Debate, walked out when Khan started his usual “diatribe” about India.
“This hall heard the incessant rant of someone who had nothing to show for himself, who had no achievements to speak of and no reasonable suggestion to offer to the world. Instead, we saw lies, misinformation, war mongering and malice spread through this Assembly,” the young Indian diplomat said.
Slamming Pakistan for its record as a nation, Vinito said, “The only crowning glory that this country has to show to the world for the last 70 years is terrorism, ethnic cleansing, majoritarian fundamentalism and clandestine nuclear trade.” Alluding to the “stellar record” of Pakistan, he said this is the country that has the “dubious distinction” of hosting the largest number of terrorists proscribed by the United Nations, a reference to terror masterminds such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) head Masood Azhar.
“This is the same country that provides pensions for dreaded and listed terrorists out of State funds. The leader whom we heard today is the same person who referred to terrorist Osama Bin Laden as a ‘martyr’“ in the Pakistani Parliament in July, Vinito said.
He added that it is Pakistan that brought genocide to South Asia 39 years ago when it killed its own people and it is also the country that is “shameless enough” not to offer a sincere apology for the horrors it perpetrated even after so many years.
India asserted in its Right of Reply that Khan, “who spewed venom today”, admitted in 2019 in public in the US that his country still has about 30,000-40,000 terrorists, who have been trained by Pakistan and have fought in Afghanistan and in the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
“This is the country that has systematically cleansed its minorities, including Hindus, Christians, Sikhs and others, through the abuse of its blasphemy laws and through forced religious conversions,” Vinito said, adding that “for someone who professes to be a champion of Islam, this is also a country that has encouraged killing of fellow Muslims merely because they belonged to a different sect or to a different region in Pakistan and through sponsoring terrorist attacks against its neighbours”.
Pakistan has consistently used UN platforms, including the high-level General Assembly sessions, to rake up the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, but has repeatedly found no resonance with the international community for its “diatribe”.
India strongly asserted that Jammu and Kashmir is its “integral and inalienable part” and the rules and legislations brought in the Union Territory are strictly its internal affairs.
“The only dispute left in Kashmir relates to that part of Kashmir that is still under the illegal occupation of Pakistan. We call upon Pakistan to vacate all those areas that it is in illegal occupation of,” Vinito said, adding that what should instead be on the agenda of the UN is Pakistan’s “deep state and its unrelenting political and financial support to terrorist organisations and mercenaries, which are a threat to global peace and security”.
“The only way for Pakistan to become a normal country is to abjure its moral, financial and material support to terrorism, turn its attention to the problems faced by its own population, including its minorities, and stop misusing UN platforms to further its nefarious agenda,” India said.
The words used in the General Assembly by Khan “demean” the very essence of the United Nations, Vinito said, adding that “for a nation that is deeply buried in medievalism, it is understandable that the tenets of a modern civilised society such as peace, dialogue and diplomacy are farfetched”.
Pakistan’s delegate then made a response to India’s Right of Reply.