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India at UNHRC slams Pakistan and OIC for bringing up Kashmir issue

10:01 PM Sep 15, 2021 | PTI

New Delhi: India on Wednesday castigated Pakistan and the OIC for raising the Kashmir issue at the UN Human Rights Council, saying it does not need lessons from a "failed state" and the "epicenter of terrorism" and chided the 57-nation bloc for "helplessly" allowing itself to be held "hostage" by Islamabad.

At the 48th session of the UNHRC, India mounted a blistering attack on Pakistan, saying it has been globally recognized as a country openly supporting, training, financing and arming terrorists including UN proscribed terrorists as a "matter of state policy".

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India's response was delivered by Pawan Badhe, the first secretary in its permanent mission in Geneva.

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Exercising the right to reply to comments made by Pakistan and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Kashmir, Badhe said India does not need lessons from a "failed state" like Pakistan which is the "epicentre of terrorism and worst abuser of human rights".

He also said 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 it has become a habit for Pakistan to misuse the platforms provided by the council to propagate its "false and malicious propaganda" against India.

"The council is aware of Pakistan''s attempts to divert the council''s attention from serious human rights violations being perpetrated by its government, including in the territories occupied by it," he said.

"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," he said.

The Indian diplomat said Pakistan has failed to protect the rights of its 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," Badhe said in his statement.

"Pakistan has been engaged in systematic persecution, forced conversions, targeted killings, sectarian violence and faith-based discrimination against its ethnic and religious minorities," he said.

Incidents of violence against minority communities, including attacks on their places of worship, their cultural heritage, as well as their private property have taken place with impunity in Pakistan, the Indian diplomat said.

He said a "climate of fear" continues to drastically impact the daily lives of minorities in Pakistan.

"Pakistan is a country which has been globally recognised as a country openly supporting, training, financing and arming terrorists including UN proscribed terrorists, as a matter of state policy," he said.

"The relevant multilateral institutions have been raising serious concerns on its failure to stop terror financing and lack of effective actions against terror entities," he noted.

He said dissenting voices from civil societies, human rights defenders, journalists are muzzled daily in Pakistan, with the support of the government.

"Enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, murders and abductions have been used as a tool for subjugation and to muzzle any form of dissent or criticism. The impunity with which such abuses have been carried out exposes the hollowness of Pakistan''s commitment to human rights," Badhe added.

He also slammed the OIC for raising the Kashmir issue at the council, asserting that the group has no locus standi to comment on the internal affairs of the country.

"We once again regret and reject the reference made by the OIC to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir which is an integral part of India," Badhe said.

"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. It''s for the members of the OIC to decide if it is in their interest to allow Pakistan to do so," he said.

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