India on Friday criticised Pakistan for making “unwarranted remarks” about Jammu and Kashmir in the United Nations Security Council.
“Pakistan’s representative made unwarranted remarks which symbolise nothing but a Pavlovian response, with an aim to misuse any forum to propagate false and malicious propaganda against my country,” said Counsellor in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN Rajesh Parihar.
The diplomat’s remarks came a day after Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari brought up the matter of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir territory, abrogation of Article 370 and the Delimitation Commission’s May 5 order at the Council debate on Maintenance of International Peace and Security - Conflict and Food Security, PTI reported.
On Friday, Parihar said that the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh will always remain an integral and inalienable part of India, including the areas that are “under the illegal occupation of Pakistan”.
He added, “No amount of rhetoric or propaganda from any country can deny this fact. The only contribution Pakistan can make is to stop state-sponsored terrorism. With regard to his other remarks, we will treat them with the contempt they deserve.”
On August 5, 2019, the Centre abrogated Article 370 of the Indian Constitution by revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories. India has consistently held that the whole of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and opposed any outside interference in the region.
India’s August 5 move evoked international attention and strong reactions from Pakistan, which downgraded diplomatic ties and expelled the Indian envoy, PTI reported.
On Thursday, Zardari said his country’s relationship with India is complicated due to the government’s recent actions in Kashmir.
“Firstly, the actions of August 5, 2019, and more recently, the events of May 5 have complicated this matter,” he said.
The Centre began the delimitation process – or redrawing boundaries – of Assembly constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir on February 17, 2020. It submitted the report on May 5. Once the report is cleared, elections will be held in Jammu and Kashmir, which does not have an elected government since June 2018.
While it is a routine effort in some parts of the country, the delimitation process is more sensitive in Jammu and Kashmir because of fears that the Bharatiya Janata Party may use it to alter political outcomes in what was earlier India’s only Muslim-majority state.
“Not only are they undermining the internationally recognised disputed status of the region, but there is concrete effort to disenfranchise and disempower the Muslim majority of the region,” the Pakistani diplomat said.
He added that India was implementing “racist policies” in Jammu and Kashmir and “not abiding by the resolutions of the United Nations, international norms and international rules-based order”.