India on Tuesday chastised Pakistan at the 45th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, calling Islamabad an “epicentre of terrorism”. India added that no country deserved an unsolicited lecture from Pakistan.
Pawan Kumar Badhe, first secretary, Permanent Mission of India, said Pakistan has consistently persecuted its ethnic and religious minorities, including Hindus, Sikhs and Christians.
Badhe, while exercising the right of reply to the statements made by Pakistan at the session, said it has become habitual for the neighbouring country to malign India with false and fabricated narratives for its self-serving malicious purposes.
“Neither India nor others deserve this unsolicited lecture on human rights from a country that has consistently persecuted its ethnic and religious minorities, is an epicentre of terrorism, has the distinction of providing pensions to individuals on UN Sanctions list and has a prime minister who proudly admits training tens of thousands of terrorists to fight in Jammu and Kashmir,” he added. “It is not surprising that other relevant multilateral institutions have been raising serious concerns on its failure to stop terror financing and lack of effective actions against all terror entities in Pakistan.”
The Indian diplomat also spoke about Pakistan’s “nefarious designs” in Jammu and Kashmir. “The mass influx of outsiders has whittled down the number of Kashmiris to an insignificant number in Pakistan occupied parts of Indian Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh,” he said. “In its zeal to reassert its theocratic ideology, it has ensured that ethnic and religious minorities have no future through systematic persecution, blasphemy laws, forced conversions, targeted killings, sectarian violence and faith-based discrimination. Thousands of Sikh, Hindus and Christian minority women and girls have been subjected to abductions, forced marriages and conversions in Pakistan.”
Badhe said Pakistan is also known for intimidation and attacks against journalists, human rights defenders and political dissidents. “It is not without a reason that Pakistan has been highlighted by international organisations as a country where journalists are slain and their killers go scot free,” he told the Human Rights Council.
India criticised Pakistan for “abusing” mechanisms of the council and raising the country’s internal matters at the forum. This was done “to distract the attention of the international community from serious human rights violations committed by it against its own people, including in Indian territories occupied by it,” the diplomat said. “We hope that Pakistan would desist from doing so.”
India also rejected the reference made by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to Jammu and Kashmir, saying they have no locus standi to comment on internal affairs. “The OIC has allowed itself to be misused by Pakistan to subverse its own agenda,” Badhe said. “It’s for the members of the OIC to decide if it is in their interests to allow Pakistan to do so.”
The Indian diplomat also advised Turkey to develop a better understanding of the democratic practices and refrain from commenting on the internal affairs of other countries.