New York: India has rejected Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s speech at the United Nations and accused him of misusing the global forum to ‘distort reality and portray a false picture of the challenges in our region’.
Exercising India’s Right of Reply during the general debate of 70th session of the UN General Assembly, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, in a strongly-worded statement said it is regrettable that the delegation of Pakistan has once again chosen to misuse the High Level Segment of the UN General Assembly Session to distort reality and portray a false picture of the challenges in our region.
The First Secretary said Pakistan claims to be the primary victim of terrorism, but in truth it is actually a victim of its own policies of breeding and sponsoring terrorists.
“Seeking to mask its activities as though an outcome of domestic discontent in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir carries no credibility with the world,” he added.
The First Secretary said it was stated that Jammu and Kashmir is under foreign occupation.
“It is, except that the occupier in question is Pakistan. In fact, India’s reservations about the proposed China-Pakistan Economic Corridor stem from the fact that it passes through Indian territory illegally occupied by Pakistan for many years,” he added.
Stating Pakistan apparently regrets that the dispute over Jammu and Kashmir remains unresolved and that our dialogue has not progressed, the First Secretary said, “If it is so, this is because Pakistan has chosen to disregard its commitments, whether it was under the 1972 Simla Agreement, the 2004 Joint Declaration forswearing terrorism, or more recently, the understanding between our two Prime Ministers at Ufa.”
“On each occasion, it is India that has extended the hand of friendship. India remains open even today to engage Pakistan on outstanding issues in an atmosphere free of terrorism and violence,” he added.
Pointing out that reference was made to ceasefire violations and exchanges of fire along the Line of Control and the International Boundary, the First Secretary said the world knows that the primary reason for firing is to provide cover to terrorists crossing the border and added that it needs no imagination to figure out which side initiates this exchange.
He said it is not uncommon for states, when confronted with serious challenges, to shift responsibility on others.
“That is the case with Pakistan and terrorism, reflecting the inability to recognize that this is a home grown problem that has begun to bite the hand that fed it. We agree that terrorism has underlying causes – in this case, poverty of wisdom and ignorance of consequences,” the First Secretary said.
“The heart of the matter is a state that regards the use of terrorism as a legitimate instrument of statecraft. The world watches with concern as its consequences have spread beyond its immediate neighbourhood. All of us stand prepared to help, if only the creators of this monster wake up to the dangers of what they have done to themselves,” he added.
On Wednesday, Sharif had proposed a four-point agenda to defuse tensions between his country and India with regard to the Kashmir issue as well as the frequent reported incidents of ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and the International Working Boundary that separates the two nations in Jammu and Kashmir.
He suggested that Pakistan and India formalise and respect the November 26, 2003, understanding for a complete ceasefire on the Line of Control in Kashmir. For this purpose, he called for the UNMOGIP’s expansion to monitor the observance of the ceasefire.
Secondly, the Pakistan Prime Minister said both countries needed to reaffirm their resolve not resort to the use of force under any circumstances, which he added was a central element of the UN Charter.
Thirdly, Sharif proposed that steps should be taken to demilitarise Kashmir and fourth Pakistan and India should agree to an unconditional mutual withdrawal from Siachen Glacier, the world’s highest battleground.
Accepting terrorism to be a menace that was hindering global peace, development and progress, Sharif also said that there was a need for one and all to address the underlying causes of this ever present threat and challenge.
He said the global threat of terrorism cannot be defeated unless its underlying causes are addressed.