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At UN, Pakistan hits back at India

Calls it ‘mother of terrorism’ in South Asia

Gulf News

United Nations: A top Pakistani diplomat has rejected India’s sweeping allegations about Pakistan’s involvement in terrorist acts, and alleged Indian sponsorship of terrorism instead, going so far as to call it the “mother of terrorism” in South Asia.

“India has considerable experience in the state sponsorship of terrorism in our region,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistani permanent representative to the United Nations, told the UN General Assembly on Saturday evening, while responding to the Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj speech, in which she called Pakistan “the pre-eminent export factory for terror”.

In a hard-hitting statement, the Pakistani envoy denounced Swaraj’s statement as an “orgy of slander” against her country.

“Her comments towards my country betray the hostility that the Indian leadership has towards Pakistan — hostility we have endured for 70 years.”

She called for the implementation of relevant Security Council resolutions and for a UN special envoy to be appointed to ensure India’s adherence to its legal obligations, adding Pakistan was committed to openness and dialogue with India so long as it ended its campaign of subversion.

Elaborating, Ambassador Lodhi said India had “sponsored and perpetrated terrorism and aggression against all its neighbours; creating terrorist groups; destabilising and blockading neighbours to do its strategic bidding and sponsoring subversion, sabotage and terrorism in various parts of Pakistan.”

“India’s proclivity to violence is also no secret. In the 70 years since its independence it has been engaged in at least over a dozen instances of the use of force and continues to face 17 insurgencies in its own land. It has fought a war with or in each of its neighbours.”

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, the Pakistani envoy said.

India had accepted these UN resolutions, but avoided implementing them through “obfuscation, diversion, deceit and aggression”.

Any interstate dispute, such as Kashmir, was by definition an “international” dispute, Ambassador Lodhi said.

“If the parties fail to resolve a dispute, the UN and the international community has not only the right but [also] the obligation to intervene and help to resolve the dispute.”

“In the case of Jammu and Kashmir, that obligation is explicit; since the UN Security Council has been involved with the dispute since its very inception; and because the Council has prescribed very specifically and precisely how the dispute should be resolved.”

Rejecting the Indian minister’s claim that UN Security Council resolutions had been “overtaken”, she said, “Law has no expiry date. Morality has no sell-by date.”