'Pakistan is known for nurturing terrorists in their backyard': India's strong reply to Imran Khan for raking up Kashmir at UN

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Pakistan, where terrorists enjoy a free pass, is an "arsonist" disguising itself as a "fire-fighter", and the entire world has suffered because of its policies as the country nurtures terrorists in its backyard, India has said in a blistering retort after Prime Minister Imran Khan raked up the issue of Kashmir in his address to the UN General Assembly.

Sneha Dubey, first secretary at UNGA said, "Regrettably, this is not the first time the leader of Pakistan has misused platforms provided by the UN to propagate false and malicious propaganda against my country, and seeking in vain to divert the world's attention from the sad state of his country where terrorists enjoy free pass while the lives of ordinary people, especially those belonging to the minority communities, are turned upside down

"Member States are aware that Pakistan has an established history and policy of harbouring, aiding and actively supporting terrorists. This is a country that has been globally recognised as one openly supporting, training, financing and arming terrorists as a matter of State policy. It holds the ignoble record of hosting the largest number of terrorists proscribed by the UN Security Council," added Dubey.

The young diplomat said that she was taking the stage to set the record straight. "We exercise our Right of Reply to one more attempt by the leader of Pakistan to tarnish the image of this august forum by bringing in matters internal to my country, and going so far as to spew falsehoods on the world stage."

Khan had addressed the United Nations General Assembly virtually on Friday where he raked up the 5 August 2019 decision of the Indian government on the abrogation of Article 370 as well as the death of separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

Asserting that Pakistan desires peace with India, Khan, however, said sustainable peace in South Asia is contingent upon the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

"The onus remains on India to create a conducive environment for meaningful and result-oriented engagement with Pakistan," Khan's statement read.

In the Right of Reply, Dubey strongly reiterated that the entire Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh "were, are and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India. This includes the areas that are under the illegal occupation of Pakistan. We call upon Pakistan to immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation.

With the international community marking this month the solemn occasion of the 20th anniversary of the dastardly 9/11 terror attacks, Dubey said the world has not forgotten that the "mastermind behind that dastardly event, Osama Bin Laden, got shelter in Pakistan. Even today, Pakistan leadership glorify him as a 'martyr'."

"Regrettably, even today we heard the leader of Pakistan trying to justify acts of terror. Such defence of terrorism is unacceptable in the modern world."

Regarding the Pakistani rhetoric of calling themselves as the "victim of terrorism", she said, "This is the country which is an arsonist disguising itself as a fire-fighter. Pakistan nurtures terrorists in their backyard in the hope that they will only harm their neighbours. Our region, and in fact the entire world, has suffered because of their policies. On the other hand, they are trying to cover up sectarian violence in their country as acts of terror."

Mincing no words, she also referred to the 1971 genocide in what is now called Bangladesh. "This is also the country that still holds the despicable record in our region of having executed a religious and cultural genocide against the people of what is now Bangladesh. As we mark the 50th anniversary this year of that horrid event in history, there is not even an acknowledgement, much less accountability," Dubey said.

She also slammed Pakistan for suppressing its minority communities.

Highlighting that minorities in Pakistan -- the Sikhs, Hindus, Christians -- live in constant fear and state sponsored suppression of their rights, the first secretary said, "this is a regime where anti-Semitism is normalised by its leadership and even justified.

"Dissenting voices are muzzled daily, and enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings are well documented."

Drawing a parallel between India and Pakistan, she said that India is a pluralistic democracy with a substantial population of minorities who have gone on to hold the highest offices in the country including as president, prime minister, chief justices and chiefs of the army staff.

She also said that, unlike Pakistan, India is a country with free media and an independent judiciary that keeps a watch and protects our Constitution.

"Pluralism is a concept which is very difficult to understand for Pakistan which constitutionally prohibits its minorities from aspiring for high offices of the State. The least they could do is introspect before exposing themselves to ridicule on the world stage," added Dubey.

She also said that India desires normal relations with all our neighbours, including Pakistan.

"However, it is for Pakistan to work sincerely towards creating a conducive atmosphere, including by taking credible, verifiable and irreversible actions to not allow any territory under its control to be used for cross border terrorism against India in any manner," added Dubey.

Inputs from agencies

Also See: Meet Sneha Dubey, the young diplomat hailed for her fiery response to Pakistan's Imran Khan at UN

Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan pokes his nose again into Kashmir issue in UNGA address

Modi at UNGA says Afghanistan shouldn't be used to spread terrorism, takes subtle dig at Pakistan for using terror as 'political tool'

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