UNGA: India, Pak Clash Over Kashmir; PM Modi Flags Afghanistan, Extremism 

SRINAGAR: Reacting sharply to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement on Jammu and Kashmir in his virtual address to the UN General Assembly, Sneha Dubey, the first secretary at the mission to the UN said Islamabad is “misused global forums” to “spread false propaganda”. She described Pakistan as “an arsonist disguising itself as a fire-fighter”.

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi in a Bilateral Meeting with the President of the United States of America, Joe Biden, at White House, in Washington DC, USA on September 24, 2021.

“Regrettably, this is not the first time the leader of Pakistan has misused platforms provided by the UN to propagate false and malicious propaganda against my country, and seeking in vain to divert the world’s attention from the sad state of his country where terrorists enjoy free pass while the lives of ordinary people, especially those belonging to the minority communities, are turned upside down,” Dubey said. She accused Pakistan of being “globally recognised country” that is “openly supporting, training, financing and arming terrorists as a matter of state policy”.

Khan in his virtual address talked about the so-called “final solution” for the Jammu and Kashmir dispute that envisages “systematic violations of human rights”; and changing demographic structure of the erstwhile state. He made a mention of the “forcible snatching of the mortal remains” of Syed Ali Geelani from his family.

Insisting that Pakistan desires peace with India, Khan said they have reaffirmed the 2003 ceasefire understanding along the Line of Control hoping that it would lead to a rethink of the strategy in New Delhi. Instead, he said, “the BJP government has intensified repression in Kashmir”. Khan said India should “reverse its unilateral and illegal measures instituted since 5th August 2019”, stop “its oppression”, and “halt and reverse the demographic changes”.

Exercising the right to reply, Dubey reiterated Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh “were, are and will always be an integral and inalienable part” of India including the “areas that are under the illegal occupation of Pakistan”. “We call upon Pakistan to immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation,” she said.

Pakistan’s female diplomat has reacted to Dubey statement in an equally harsh tone.

However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi who spoke later in the day after his detailed meetings with Quad leaders and US president and his deputy skipped Kashmir but talked in detail about Afghanistan. He said it was the strength of the Indian democracy that a tea maker at a railway station is speaking to the UN as the Prime Minister for the fourth time.

In a veiled attack on Pakistan, Modi said there were countries that were “using terror as a political tool”. Referring to the Afghanistan situation after the Taliban takeover, the prime minister said, “Some are trying to use the situation in Afghanistan as a tool for their own benefit.” He said proxy war, terror and the situation in Afghanistan were asking the world tough questions.

“Regressive thinking and extremism are growing threats. Scientific, rational and progressive thinking should be markers of development now,” he added. The Prime Minister said it was “absolutely essential to ensure that Afghanistan’s territory is not used to spread terrorism and for terrorist activities.”

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