We are making this right of reply in response to India’s statement.
- We regret that instead of introspection of its atrocities against the Kashmiri people, India has again resorted to baseless polemic and unrequited rhetoric against Pakistan. Without reciprocating in kind, Pakistan wishes to remind India of the following undeniable facts:
- Jammu and Kashmir is recognized as an international dispute by the UN Security Council resolutions and displayed accordingly in all legally recognized maps of the world. Since the disposition of Jammu and Kashmir is to be decided by its people through a UN supervised plebiscite, India’s forcible annexation of the territory in 1947 and subsequent occupation has no legal basis. Jammu and Kashmir is not part of India and neither it has ever been. Commenting on Kashmir is therefore not interference in India’s internal affairs.
- As a dispute on agenda of the UN Security Council and on which all Principal Organs of the UN are seized of, any report or document from the UN has to be considered in its relevant bodies and processes. In that sense, the UN, the regional and other international organizations like the OIC have a definitive stake in the situation in Kashmir. In the same spirit, the OHCHR Report on Kashmir needs a follow up in the Human Rights Council. The report has shown India’s true face to the world; a face India does not want the world to see.
- Pakistan has welcomed the OHCHR’s recommendation of establishing a Commission of Inquiry. If India has committed no crime in Kashmir and if sources of instability in Kashmir are external, India should also welcome the Commission. India’s abject rejection of the Commission is a testament that it fears an independent investigation, which will inevitably expose its crimes against the Kashmiri people.
- The OHCHR report neither legitimizes terrorism nor is an affront to global consensus on terrorism. The impunity enjoyed by the Indian forces and the resulting human rights abuse of Kashmiri people cannot be justified on the logic of terrorism. Hundreds of Kashmiri civilians blinded by pellet guns were not terrorists. Thousands of protestors who throng the streets of Srinagar, Kupwara, Shopian, Bandipura and other towns and villages in IOK are not terrorists. 8 year old girl Asifa, raped to death by priests and extremists in a Hindu temple in Jammu, was not a terrorist. She, like all victims of sexual violence by India in Kashmir awaits justice.
- Instead of punishing the rapists of little Asifa, the Hindu extremists made a political cause in their favor. This is symptomatic of a wider drift of India towards extremism and rank communalism. Where else on this planet except in India can an individual be lynched to death for carrying beef? Christians and Dalits or the so called untouchables also bear the brunt of the extremists’ wrath. According to persecution relief, on an average, every day, at least one member of clergy is beaten to death and a church or his house is vandalized. This may seem incredible Mr. President, but this is India.
I thank you Mr. President.