In response to India’s First Secretary Eenam Gambhir, Pakistan’s Councillor at the Permanent Mission at UN, Saad Ahmad Warraich, recorded the following reply in the UN General Assembly on September 29, 2018. The brief speech is re-published verbatim for the purposes of research and reference
I take the floor to exercise our right of reply to the statement made by the Indian representative.
Her diatribe was a reflection not only of the deep-seated Indian hostility towards my country but was also reflective of the Indian habit of conflating fact with fabrication.
We were treated to another homely against terrorism.
Listening to this exposition, one would indeed, marvel at the ‘credentials’ of the pontiff, for who would be more qualified to talk of terrorism, than those who practice it as an instrument of state policy.
The breeding ground of terrorism in our region, are the RSS centers of fascism. Their claims of religious superiority are perpetrated through state patronage all across India.
Speaking of victims of terrorism, I would like to remind the Indian representative of people like Danish Rajab, the 24 year old from Srinagar whose pellet-infested face, deprived of vision in the left eye, tells a story of misfortune that is not particular to him; the ten-year-old Asif Ahmad Sheikh, seeks similar answers from those who have extinguished his eyesight.
The Indian representative could have spoken of the agony of Farooq Ahmad Dar who was tied to an army jeep and paraded in front of unarmed Kashmiri protestors and used as a human shield; or Kaiser Bhatt, who was run over and killed by a military jeep.
For a country where members from India’s minorities including Christians and Muslims are publicly lynched at the hands of Hindu zealots, where perpetrators of Samjohta terrorist attack receive state patronage, where an unabashed Hindu extremist Yogi Aditya Naath, who openly advocates religious superiority of the Hindus, serves as the face of the largest Indian state, Utter Pradesh; where right to citizenship to Bengalis in Assam is being arbitrarily rescinded, and who have suddenly been made stateless and have been called ‘termites’ by a prominent Indian leader; where churches and mosques are torched, is surely not qualified to give sermons to others.
In illiberal India of today, there is no room for dissent.
India’s proclivity to violence is also no secret. In the last 70 years, India has been engaged in at least over a dozen instances of the use of force and continues to face 17 domestic insurgencies.
As for Jammu and Kashmir, I would urge the Indian representative, at least once, to look beyond obfuscation and denial and to answer honestly and objectively a few simple questions.
Can India deny the situation in Jammu and Kashmir which is an internationally recognized dispute on which there exist a number of UN resolutions?
Can India deny that the UN has expressly called for holding an impartial plebiscite to ascertain the wishes of the Kashmiri people?
Can India deny that over 100,000 civilians have been killed in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir which are well-documented by human rights organizations and the international media?
Can Indian deny that Indian Armed Forces have resorted to the indiscriminate use of force against innocent civilians causing widespread death and injury?
While Indian occupation of Jammu and Kashmir has a little pretence to legitimacy, the true face of Indian occupation was exposed, yet again, by the recent report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights which speaks of a litany of systematic violations of fundamental human rights of the Kashmiri people.
Much as India may attempt, credibility cannot be gained by discrediting the truth, but instead, by facing up to it.
The truth, Mr. President, is that Jammu and Kashmir is not a part of India. It never was; it never will be.
As for UN Security Council resolutions, they do not lapse with time or are ‘overtaken’ by circumstance. Law has no expiry date. Morality has no sell-by date.
India cannot hide behind semantics any more.
You can regurgitate hollow allegations of cross-border terrorism against Pakistan but you cannot hide your egregious state-terrorism against defenceless people in occupied Kashmir.
You can brutally silence courageous Kashmiri voices like Shujaat Bukhari but you cannot suppress the voice of the international community articulated in the report of the UN High Commissioner.
You can use the might of your guns to keep the innocent Kashmiris under your illegal occupation, for now, but not forever.
The 100,000 Kashmiri dead in occupied Jammu and Kashmir tell an unremitting tale of this Indian double-face.
It is time for Indian to abandon its double speak. Vacuous rhetoric and phony bravado may win you an election but they cannot win you peace or indeed earn India any credibility.
I thank you.