Kashmir At UN 2018: India’s First Right To Reply

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In response to the Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mohammad Qureshi’s speech at the 73rd session of UN General Assembly, India’s First Secretary at Permanent Mission to UN, Eenam Gambhir recorded the following reply on September 29, 2018

Mr. President,

This morning my delegation came to this august Assembly to listen attentively to the new Foreign Minister of Pakistan outline the vision of a ‘New Pakistan’.

What we heard is a ‘New Pakistan’ cast in the mould of the old.

I, therefore, am constrained to take the floor to exercise India’s Right to Reply, to reject the baseless allegations made by the Foreign Minister of Pakistan.

Among the most outrageous was the preposterous allegation relating to the horrific terror attack on a Peshawar school four years ago.

Let me recollect for the new government of Pakistan the outpouring of sorrow and pain in India that followed the massacre of innocent children in 2014. Both houses of India’s Parliament had expressed solidarity while paying respect to the memory of 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 on that day.

It is a desperate attempt to look away from the monster of terror that Pakistan has itself created in its quest to destabilise its neighbours and covet their territory.

Let me make 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.

Mr. President,

We have heard Pakistan claim that it has turned the tide against terrorism. Let us fact check this:

Can Pakistan deny the fact that it is the host and patron of 132 of the UN-designated terrorists and 22 terrorist entities under the 1267 and the 1988 UN Security Council sanctions regime as of today?

Will Pakistan deny that UN-designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed enjoys a free run inside Pakistan and spews venom and sets up candidates for electoral office?

Mr. President,

We have also noticed an effort of the ‘New Pakistan’ to champion human rights. This is vintage verbal duplicity. It is evident from the recent example of the Princeton economist, Professor Atif Mian’s appointment and removal from the Economic Advisory Council on grounds that he belongs to a ‘minority’. Before preaching to the world, championing of human rights should begin at home.

We have also today heard support by Pakistan for a report no Member State had asked for; none supported, and on which no action was taken.

Mr. President,

The new Foreign Minister of Pakistan chose to term the gruesome killing of our security personnel by Pakistani sponsored terrorists as ‘flimsy’ grounds.

While it may not be the case for Pakistan, for India every loss of life counts. Hence our belief that talks and terror cannot go together.

Mr. President,

To conclude, what we have heard are fake allegations and fake facts, which can only make for a fake vision. For a new vision to materialize, Pakistan must demonstrate that it has moved beyond a narrative of distortion, deception and deceit.

I Thank you, Mr. President.

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