Maleeha Lodhi tells UN that Swaraj ‘deliberately ignored the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir’ to divert attention from ‘brutalities of Indian forces’
UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Maleeha Lodhi, called India “the mother of terrorism in South Asia” where “a racist and fascist ideology is firmly embedded” in the Modi government.
In her response to the allegations of terrorism levelled by India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj against Pakistan, Lodhi said India was using terrorism as a state policy.
India sponsored and aided terrorism against all its neighbours, Lodhi said while exercising the right of reply. She accused that Swaraj was “indulging in an orgy of slander against Pakistan”.
On Saturday, India’s External Affairs Minister had accused Islamabad of terrorism, stating “Pakistan is recognised only as the pre-eminent export factory for terror”.
“Her comments towards my country betray the hostility that the Indian leadership has towards Pakistan – the hostility we have endured for 70 years,” Lodhi told the 72nd UNGA. “Indian spy Kulbhushan Yadav has confessed of committing terrorism in Pakistan.”
Repeating falsehoods year after year does not and cannot conceal or alter the truth. But in her vitriol she deliberately ignored the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir.”
Lodhi noted Jammu and Kashmir was not a part of India and was recognised by the United Nations and the international community as ‘disputed’ territory. “I invite all of you, and the Indian FM, to look at the UN maps,” she said.
The Pakistani diplomat said that India’s military occupation of the Jammu and Kashmir was “illegal” as the UN Security Council had, in over a dozen resolutions, decided that the dispute must be resolved by enabling the people of Jammu and Kashmir to determine their own destiny through a UN-supervised plebiscite.
India has been levelling allegations against Pakistan to divert international attention from the “brutalities of Indian forces in held Kashmir”, she said. “The crimes against humanity in held Kashmir should be investigated.”
She also urged the international community to “stop India from ceasefire violations” on the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan wanted a resolution of all outstanding issues through talks, she said, adding that India will have to give up the “policy of terrorism”.
“India’s brutal occupation of Kashmir has killed over 100,000 innocent Kashmiris. Although India had launched a campaign of brutality inside Kashmir — including the shooting and blinding of innocent Kashmiri children with pellet guns — and yet had failed to subdue these Kashmiri children, women and youth who came out on the streets almost daily to demand that India get out of occupied Kashmir,” Lodhi stated.
“India cannot hide behind semantics. Any interstate dispute, like Kashmir, is by definition an ‘international’ dispute. If the parties fail to resolve a dispute, the UN and the international community has not only the right but the obligation to intervene and help to resolve the dispute,” she said.
Lodhi also disagreed with Swaraj’s suggestion that Pakistan was avoiding bilateral talks with India. “India now also refuses a bilateral dialogue with Pakistan, either composite or comprehensive. The conditions it poses – that first there be an end of violence — begs the question: violence emanates, first and foremost, from India’s occupation and brutal suppression of the Kashmiri people,” she maintained.
New Delhi’s “current political luminaries belong to a political organisation that has the blood of thousands of Muslims of Gujarat on their hands”, Lodhi said, referring to the 2002 Gujarat riots.
India was ruled by a fascist ideology and it should stop supporting across-the-border terrorism, she said. “The leadership of the BJP government was drawn from the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) that is accused of assassinating Mahatma Gandhi.”
The Pakistani envoy also criticised Yogi Adityanath’s election in Uttar Pradesh, saying “the government has appointed a fanatic as the chief minister of India’s largest state”.
“It is a government, which has allowed the lynching of Muslims.”
Lodhi also invoked Arundhati Roy to attack Swaraj’s speech and quoted the acclaimed Indian novelist’s 2015 statement: “These horrific murders are only a symptom. Life is hell for the living too. Whole populations of dalits, adivasis, muslims, and christians are being forced to live in terror, unsure of when and from where the assault would come.”