New York: Pakistan’s mission to the United Nations (UN) on Monday accused India of hiding behind a picture to divert the world’s attention from the situation on the ground in Kashmir valley.
Pakistan was responding to a photograph mix-up made earlier by Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN Maleeha Lodhi.
Lodhi, during a fiery speech in the UN General Assembly on Saturday, had shared photographs of victims of pellet gun attacks infamous for depriving victims of their sight purportedly taken in Kashmir.
One of the photographs shown by Lodhi, however, stirred controversy when observers pointed out it was a picture of a Palestinian girl injured by strikes in Gaza, taken by photographer Heidi Levine in 2014.
Indian media outlets were quick to point out that Lodhi had erred, and the diplomat came under fire on social media for the blunder. However, media reports in Kashmir suggested that the picture was used by several Kashmiri media outlets during 2016 uprising.
The Indian mission to the UN, exercising its right of reply, lambasted Lodhi for “callously holding a picture of an injured girl”, and accused her of seeking to divert attention from “Pakistan’s role as the hub of global terrorism”. The Indian diplomat alleged Pak had “misled this assembly” and shared a photograph of an Indian soldier allegedly killed by militants Shopian district.
Pakistan’s mission, in its latest rejoinder to India, asserted: “No matter how many times you repeat a lie, it does not and cannot hide the truth.” The Pakistani representative claimed the Indian representative had “once again chosen to divert the attention of the international community from the real issue ─ the real issue of human life, of human eyes, of children and infants blinded forever, of women raped and elderly killed every day by the reign of brutality unleashed by occupation forces in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.”
“The real issue is of Security Council resolutions, which India refuses to implement,” the Pakistani representative said. “No matter how many times you repeat a lie, it does not and cannot hide the truth. Raking up debate on pictures has backfired.” he maintained.
“India, who kills and tortures innocent Kashmiris, is seeking to hide behind a photograph,” he claimed, adding, “Indian state terrorism has been amply documented by successive human rights reports from various international organisations. There are thousands of those pictures for everyone to see.”
The Pakistani diplomat said that India’s “diversionary tactics” would not change the situation on ground. “It is its war crimes that India has to answer for. It is the call for legality, morality and conscience that it has to answer for,” he asserted.
The Pakistani representative went on to accuse Indian leaders of “pursuing a policy of state sponsorship of terrorism, funding and arming terrorist organisations like the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and the Jamaatul Ahrar to launch terror attacks inside Pakistan” as part of its strategy to become “a regional hegemon”.
“India is churning out operatives of mayhem from its factories of terror,” he said. “Operatives like Commander Jadhav, who are spreading terror and violence across Pakistan. We caught Jadhav red-handed, we will catch others as well and bring them to justice,” he said.