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Pakistan promoting cross-border terrorism: India tells UN rights council

India said on Monday it firmly believes that a policy of “zero tolerance” against terrorism is as much an international obligation as it is a commitment to its own people, a day after terrorists killed 18 soldiers in Kashmir in one of the deadliest attacks on its military

UriTerrorAttack Updated: Sep 20, 2016 01:53 IST
PTI
Uri terror attack

Soldiers during the last rite of Ravi Paul with full military honours at his village - Sarwah in Samba district on Monday.(Nitin Kanotra/HT Photo)

In a stern message, India asked Pakistan on Monday to stop supporting terrorism and vacate illegal occupation of Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir, as it highlighted human rights violations in Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh and persecution of minorities including Hindus.

“We, once again, ask Pakistan to stop inciting and supporting violence and terrorism in any part of India and refrain from meddling in our internal affairs in any manner. We call upon the Council to urge Pakistan to fulfill its obligation to vacate illegal occupation of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir,” India said in its right to reply at the 33rd Session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva.

It said Pakistan continues to test the patience as well as wisdom of the Council with its unceasing false-narrative backed by fabricated facts and figures about Jammu & Kashmir.

“Pakistan has had territorial ambitions over Kashmir since 1947 that has found concrete expression in the aggression it embarked on in 1947, 1965 and 1999. As on date, Pakistan is in illegal and forcible occupation of 78,000 sq kms (approx) of Indian Territory in Jammu & Kashmir,” it said.

The fundamental reason for disturbances in Kashmir is cross-border terrorism promoted by Pakistan, it added.

Raising human rights violations in Pakistan, India said, “the people of Balochistan, amongst other provinces, have been waging for decades a bitter and brave struggle against their daily abuse and torture.

“Religious and sectarian minorities such as Hindus, Christians, Shias, Ahmaddiyas, Ismailis and others continue to face discrimination, persecution and targeted attacks in Pakistan. Places of worship belonging to minorities have been destroyed and vandalized. Blasphemy laws remain in force and are disproportionately used against religious minorities.”

Read | Pakistan rejects role in Uri attack, Sharif rakes up Kashmir unrest

Noting that various international organizations have documented how enforced disappearances continue with impunity, particularly in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh where members of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement are routinely abducted and killed, India said selective but extremely opaque and high-handed use of force by Pakistani authorities has affected civilian populations on a large scale.

Underlining that more than one million people remain displaced as a result of the current and past armed conflicts in the northwest of Pakistan, India said, “Pakistan will be well-advised to focus its energies on setting its own house in order and acting against the perpetrators of terrorist attacks on its neighbours instead of ritually raking up alleged human rights violations elsewhere.”

Earlier, making a statement at the session in Geneva, India called upon the Council to urge Pakistan to put an end to cross-border infiltration; dismantle the terrorism infrastructure; and stop acting as an epicentre of terrorism.

India said it firmly believes that a policy of “zero tolerance” against terrorism is as much an international obligation as it is a commitment to its own people.

The Indian statement comes a day after heavily armed militants suspected to be from Pakistan-based JeM had stormed an army base in Uri in Kashmir on Sunday, killing 18 jawans, in one of the deadliest attacks on its military.

“It is time that moral and material support provided by Pakistan to the perpetrators of this continuing heinous violence on the Indian soil should attract this Council’s attention,” India said.

Read | Uri attack: Army talks tough, says India reserves right to retaliate

Raising once again the “blatant abuse and violation of human rights in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and in other parts of Pakistan, including Balochistan”, India said it was adversely impacting the stability of the entire region.

“Pakistan’s continued mistreatment of large parts of its own population has created a cauldron of tumult that has begun to jeopardise the safety and security of its neighbouring countries,” the statement said.

Asserting that the acts of terrorism are the most egregious violations of human rights as they rob their victims of the most fundamental of human rights - the right to life, India said this should be clear to any impartial observer of the issue.

“India has been a long-suffering victim of terrorism emanating from our neighbourhood. The fundamental reason for disturbances in Kashmir is cross-border terrorism promoted by Pakistan which is so ruthless that it does not shy away from using civilians and even children by putting them in harm’s way, at the forefront of violent mobs instigated and supported by their handlers from across the border,” it added.

Read | Uri attack: 5 things India needs to do after Kashmir terror strike

The fact that known terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Syed Salahuddin have been able to hold huge rallies in Pakistan’s main cities is a reflection of the state of affairs and can mean only one thing: active support for such personalities and the designated organisations they lead in blatant disregard of rule of law is the new normal in Pakistan, it said.

Rather than internationalising issues with India, Pakistan should cleanse itself of its terrorists.

The time has come, when the international community needs to address the plethora of human rights concerns in Pakistan because its impact has moved beyond the county’s domestic problem and has begun to affect the region and the world at large, the statement said.

“We urge this Council to take a holistic view of this threat and not permit the use of terrorism as state policy to be masqueraded as advocacy of human rights,” it added.

Full coverage of Uri attacks here