In response to various misapprehensions raised against India by Pakistan, OIC and Belgium, the Ministry of External Affairs of India exercised its “Right of Reply” at the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council held in Geneva to issue a strong-worded response to counter the propaganda surrounding Jammu and Kashmir, NRC and India’s democracy.
Earlier, Pakistan raked up the Kashmir issue at the session and demanded the lifting of communication blockade in Jammu and Kashmir, the release of all the political leaders and activists in the Valley, saying any “inaction” by the international community will only “embolden” India.
Pakistan’s Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari alleged that India continues to violate the human rights of the Kashmiri people and demanded the immediate repeal of all actions by India on August 5 last year in Kashmir.
However, describing Pakistan as “pernicious cradle of terrorism”, India slammed the neighbouring country for voicing concerns over human rights in Jammu and Kashmir while harbouring terrorism in its own backyard.
Here’s India’s response at the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council:
Mr Vice President,
- India is exercising its right of reply to Pakistan’s statement under Agenda Item 2.
- At the outset, we would like to inform the Council that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is fast returning to normalcy despite serious attempts by Pakistan to derail the positive developments through its active support to terrorist groups and related entities. Mr Vice President,
- India’s time tested democratic institutions are robust and adequate enough to address any challenge including those instigated from outside, in order to safeguard the interests of all our citizens including minorities.
- The international community cannot be misled by Pakistani hysterical reactions at all international fora to malign India. The world knows about the dismal human rights records of Pakistan and tight control cannot hide it all. Let us advise Pakistan for its own good and for the peace and prosperity of the South Asian region. First, end the illegal and forcible occupation and reverse the demographic changes in Pakistan occupied Jammu and KashmirSecond, stop terror funding and dismantle terrorist camps operating in Pakistan and territories under its controlThird, stop public advocacy and support for terrorists by Pakistani leadership at the highest level
Fourth, take structural reforms to develop a semblance of democracy in Pakistan
Fifth, end harassment and execution of minorities through the misuse of the blasphemy law
Sixth, end forced conversions and marriages of women and girls from Hindu, Sikh and Christian religions
Seven, stop killing and targeting political dissidents and legitimate criticism in Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Eight, prevent enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings of journalists and human rights activists by its security agencies
Nine, stop religious persecution against Shias, Ahmadiyas, Ismailia and Hazaras
Tenth, stop recruitment of children for terror activities including a suicide bombing in other countries And the list is endless
- Blasphemy law against Aasia Bibi, persecution of Abdul Shakoor, an Ahmadiya, Jagjit Kaur, a minor Sikh girl subjected to abduction and forced marriage are the norms of the day for minorities in Pakistan.
- As regards OIC, it has no locus standi to comment on the internal affairs of India. Jammu and Kashmir was, is and shall forever remain an integral part of India.
- As far as Belgium’s comment on NRC is concerned, as a close partner of India, we wish, Belgium could have checked the factual position with us before coming to any conclusion on the issue. Our Prime Minister has clearly said that no discussions have taken place on NRC anywhere except following Supreme court directives in Assam.