Pakistan decries India’s repression of Kashmiri people, minorities in India

United Nations, March 17 (KMS): Pakistan has rejected India’s claim that Jammu and Kashmir is its integral part, saying the United Nations defines it as a disputed territory and that it so printed on all the maps of the world body.

This was stated by Pakistani delegate Saima Saleem in response to the claims by an Indian representative at the United Nations.

“The ‘final disposition’ of the State of Jammu and Kashmir is to be decided by the Kashmiri people through a fair and an impartial plebiscite held under UN auspices as stipulated in numerous resolutions of the Security Council,” she said at the United Nations on Wednesday. She was responding to the claims by an Indian representative that Kashmir is an integral part of India, and that Pakistan should leave the areas occupied by it.

The verbal India-Pakistan duel took place at the 66th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at which Pakistan’s Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari said, among other elements, that the illegal occupation of Kashmir by India has negatively affected the rights of women and children there.

“Women are being targeted by Indian occupation forces who have used rape as a weapon of war and attacked women and children with pellet guns. We cannot be selective in where the standards of human rights apply,” Ms Mazari told the delegates from around the world, many of them ministers, via video-link.

Reacting to the Pakistan’s minister’s remarks, the Indian representative, besides making claims on Kashmir, also accused Islamabad of failing to protect its minorities and allegedly being involved in terrorism.

Exercising her right of reply to the Indian accusations, Ms Saleem, a counsellor at the Pakistan Mission to the UN, said it was in India where a reign of terror against its minorities was going on. “The practitioners of the Hindutva ideology, who rule India today, have unrobed the mask of secularism to reveal the true face of Indian fascism,” she said, adding that the so-called “largest democracy” had transformed into a bastion of Hindutva hate, violence, terror, and Islamophobia.

“Since the fascist RSS-BJP government’s unilateral and illegal actions on 5 August 2019, India’s 900,000 occupation forces in occupied Kashmir – the ‘densest’ occupation in history – have escalated their oppression of 8 million Kashmiri men, women, and children in the world’s largest ‘open-air prison’,” the Pakistani delegate said.

Saima Saleem said, in India defenceless Muslims are lynched by cow vigilantes and killed in pogroms led by RSS ‘brown-shirt’ thugs; where members from India’s minorities, including Christians, Sikhs and Dalits, are persecuted at the hands of Hindu fundamentalists; where the criminal perpetrators of the Gujarat and Delhi pogroms enjoy state office and patronage; where the desecration of mosques, including the Babri Mosque and a temple being built in its place, is the state agenda; where churches and gurdwaras are torched; where the Citizenship Amendment Act aims to purge India of its Muslims; where Hijab is banned for Muslim women; where Muslim women and girls are deprived of their right to education; where anti-Muslim social media trolls of “Corona Jihad” rule the internet; and the ruling RSS-BJP leaders call Muslims ‘termites’ and the ‘green virus’; and where calls for genocide of Muslims have become a new normal.

“On behalf of Kashmiri women,” the Pakistani delegate added, “we ask the world, we ask this Commission, to demand that India end its state terrorism against Pakistan; against the Kashmiris; and against its own minorities.” She went on to say, “We ask the world to hold India accountable for its crimes, in particular against millions of Kashmiri women.”

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