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J&K 'was, is and shall forever' remain its integral part: India tells Pakistan at UNHRC meeting

Speaking at the 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council which is being held here in Switzerland from February 24 to March 20, Vikas Swarup, Secretary (West), the ministry of external affairs, described Pakistan as the epicentre of global terrorism. He called for decisive action against states who direct, control, fund and shelter terrorists, in an obvious reference to Pakistan, which is accused by its neighbours of providing safe havens to terror groups.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Feb 27, 2020, 09.23 AM IST
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NEW DELHI: India on Wednesday launched broadside against Pakistan and asserted that it is ironical that the “world's leading exporter of terror and violence seeks to lecture others about human rights“ and rights of minorities.

These remarks were made by Secretary (West) in MEA Vikas Swarup while addressing 43rd Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The senior diplomat also highlighted achievements of the Modi in several socio-economic sectors.

“Speaking of terrorism, it is only logical to respond to the remarks made by the delegation of Pakistan, which is the epicenter of global terrorism,” Swarup said, adding, “ It is more than a little ironical that a nation that has become the world's leading exporter of terror and violence seeks to lecture others about human rights. Nonetheless, let me set the record straight on the issues raised.”

Jammu and Kashmir was, is and shall forever remain an integral part of India, Swarup asserted. “The transformative changes wrought by our Parliament last August were meant to strengthen the integration of the State, including to give fullest play to representative government from the grassroots level upward. It was intended to ensure the extension of all progressive legislations passed for the entire country to cover this region, and to resume the pace of socio-economic development in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.”

”...the situation on the ground is quite normal. Most temporary restrictions--imposed solely to ensure safety of the people from Pakistani trained terrorist attacks--have already been removed, political processes have resumed, telecom facilities have been largely restored, developmental activities are being undertaken at a rapid pace and there is access for all to education and healthcare.”

He also informed that schools, Colleges and Universities have resumed and regular examinations are being held. Hospitals, clinics and pharmacies are well-stocked and staffing is at full capacity. ”These have been achieved despite Pakistan's frenetic attempts to promote both violence within our territory--with an 81% increase in infiltration attempts since last August--and disinformation outside. Yesterday's speech was a good example of the latter.”

”Pakistan also felt it necessary to offer advise and warnings about the situation within India. To paraphrase the poet Robert Burns, someone should give them the power to see themselves as others see them,” Swarup recalled.

“...We remain ready to work with all partners to fully stop all support from reaching terrorists, denying terrorists access to safe havens, and extraditing and bringing to justice perpetrators of terrorism, and their supporters,” Swarup announced.

Referring to vibrant track record of Indian democracy, the diplomat advised, “Let me tell the delegation from Pakistan that India is a nation where democracy, including the right to protest, is vibrantly and noisily celebrated every day, where diversity has been a way of life since times immemorial and where dignity of every human is protected by a robust Constitutional framework.“

”We take pride in the fact that our Constitution begins by first of all safeguarding the rights of all--citizen and foreigner alike. This is entirely in the spirit of our civilization and our democracy, where we do not distinguish between the divinity inherent in all humanity. It is Pakistan that would do well to look to its own house and introspect about the condition of its people, especially its minorities.”

The Indian government believes in Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas: Inclusive development for all and with the trust of all. ”Our approach to the UN Human Rights Council is guided by the same spirit of engagement, dialogue and consultation which animates our democracy. The promotion and protection of human rights is best pursued in this manner, as it achieves lasting results.”
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