A day after India criticised Pakistan at the United Nations General Assembly, Islamabad’s envoy to the UN, Saad Warraich, on Sunday attacked the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath.

Exercising its right to reply, Warraich told the United Nations General Assembly that there was no room in today’s India, which he called illiberal, for dissent. “The breeding ground of terrorism in our region is the RSS centres of fascism,” he claimed. “The claims of religious superiority are perpetrated through straight patronage all across India.”


Listing several problems in this “illiberal India”, Warraich said it was a country where “members of India’s minorities, including Christians and Muslims, are publicly lynched at the hands of Hindu zealots” and where “an unabashed Hindu extremist Yogi Adityanath” openly advocates the superiority of Hindus and serves as the face of the country’s largest state, Uttar Pradesh.

He also brought up Assam’s National Register of Citizens, and claimed that the “right to citizenship to Bengalis in Assam is being arbitrarily rescinded” and they have “suddenly been made stateless”. He also called out Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah, without naming him, for referring to them as “termites”. A country such as this, “where churches and mosques are torched, is surely not qualified to give sermons to others”, Warraich added.

Warraich’s statement came after India dismissed Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s allegations that New Delhi sponsored terror activities in Islamabad as “preposterous”.

Eenam Gambhir, India’s First Secretary in Permanent Mission to the UN, said Qureshi’s description of a “new Pakistan” was “cast in the mould of the old”. She also dismissed his claims that New Delhi facilitated the 2014 terror attack on a Peshawar school as a “despicable insinuation that dishonours” the victims. India also accused Islamabad of attempting to “look away from the monster of terror that Pakistan has created to destabilise its neighbours”.

In his statement earlier on Saturday, Qureshi claimed that India had chosen “politics over peace” when it called off bilateral dialogue “on flimsy grounds”.

Before this, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had lambasted Pakistan. She condemned Pakistan for accusing India of violating human rights, Swaraj said terrorists were the chief transgressors. “Those who take innocent human lives in pursuit of war by other means are defenders of inhuman behaviour, not of human rights,” she had said. “Pakistan glorifies killers while refusing to see the blood of innocents.”