India on Wednesday criticised Pakistan for using platforms provided by the United Nations Human Rights Council to “propagate its false and malicious propaganda”.
India was responding to the statements by Pakistan’s representative at the council. Pakistan had expressed concern on India’s “state policy of demographic change” in Jammu and Kashmir and its “devastating human rights impacts”. It had said that the council should call on India to allow access to “independent observers” in Jammu and Kashmir, and mandate an inquiry commission into India’s alleged human rights abuses.
India’s response was delivered by Pawan Badhe, the first secretary in its permanent mission in Geneva.
“India, as not only the world’s largest democracy but a robustly functional and vibrant one, does not need lessons from a failed state like Pakistan which is the epicentre of terrorism and worst abuser of human rights,” Badhe remarked.
He added that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation has no locus standi to comment on India’s internal affairs. “The OIC has helplessly allowed itself to be held hostage by Pakistan, which holds the chairmanship of their Geneva Chapter, to subserve its own agenda,” Badhe said.
The Islamic body should decide if it is in their interest to permit Pakistan to do so, said India.
The Indian representative said that Pakistan has been globally recognised as a country that openly supports, trains, finances and arms terrorists, including those proscribed by the United Nations, as a matter of state policy.
Badhe alleged that Pakistan has failed to protect the rights of minorities, including Sikhs, Hindus, Christians and Ahmadiyas. “Thousands of women and girls from minority communities have been subjected to abductions, forced marriages and conversions in Pakistan and its occupied territories,” he added.
The Indian representative also remarked that incidents of violence against minority communities have taken place with impunity. “A “climate of fear” continues to drastically impact the daily lives of minorities,” he added.
Earlier this week, United Nations Human Rights Commission chief Michelle Bachelet had also spoken on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, and had referred to restrictions on gatherings and frequent “communication blackouts” in the Union Territory.
In response, India had said that her remarks were unwarranted and did not reflect the ground reality.
“Any shortcomings in upholding human rights must be addressed in a transparent and impartial manner, anchored in respect for national sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs of states,” Ministry of External Affairs Secretary (West) Reenat Sandhu had said.