Message on J&K should be ‘loud and clear’ to Pak: India

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United Nations: The message that Kashmir is an integral part of India should be “loud and clear”, India today told Pakistan, calling it a “dysfunctional state” that commits atrocities on its own people and preaches about tolerance, democracy and human rights.

Responding to Pakistan’s Right of Reply (RoR), India also asked Pakistan if it can clarify how terror safe havens continue to flourish on its soil despite getting billions of dollars in anti-terrorism aid.

Pakistan’s envoy to the UN Maleeha Lodhi, exercising the RoR to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s address to the UN General Assembly here yesterday, earlier said Pakistan rejects “all the baseless allegations” made by her and asserted that Kashmir never was and can never be an integral part of India.

She called Kashmir a “disputed territory, the final status of which has yet to be determined in accordance with several resolutions of the UN Security Council”.

First Secretary in the Indian Mission to the UN Eenam Gambhir, in India’s Right of Reply to Lodhi’s remarks, said that it appears that the Pakistani envoy “did not hear clearly what our Minister of External Affairs stated during her address earlier today”.

Quoting Swaraj that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India, and will always continue to do so, Gambhir said “we hope that the message is loud and clear”.

In the RoR, Lodhi claimed that the attack on the Indian Army base in Uri, particularly its timing, has all the “hallmarks of an operation designed” to divert attention from India’s “atrocities” in Kashmir.

“The international community is well aware that several such incidents have been staged in the past to serve India’s tactical and propaganda objectives,” she said, adding that India is utilising the Uri incident to blame Pakistan for the current Kashmiri uprising and divert attention from its ‘brutal’ occupation.

Gambhir, who had given India’s strong RoR to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s UN General Assembly address, said the world heard from Pakistan “the views of a dysfunctional state” which builds atrocity upon atrocity on its own people, preaching about values of tolerance, democracy and human rights.

“We reject entirely these sermons,” she said.

Gambhir said that the Pakistani envoy was making “a fanciful and misleading presentation” in her RoR on the situation in the Kashmir, in yet another attempt to divert international attention from her country’s continued sponsorship of terrorism.

Gambhir said Pakistan is not answering questions that are being posed to it by the international community such as how is it that terror sanctuaries and safe havens in her country continue to flourish despite the Pakistan army’s “much-vaunted counter terrorism operations, and the billions of dollars of international counter terrorism aid it obtains”. (MORE) PTI YAS SAI AKJ

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