Hours after Nawaz Sharif raked up the Kashmir issue in his speech at the UN general assembly, India hit back strongly accusing Pakistan of “misusing” the world platform to portray a false picture of the region.
Exercising India’s Right of Reply during the general debate of 70th session of UN general assembly, first secretary in the permanent mission of India to the UN, Abhishek Singh, said Pakistan was a victim of its own policies of breeding and sponsoring terrorists.
India’s external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup also spoke on the issue Twitter, saying the solution is to de-terrorise Pakistan and not de-militarise Kashmir.
Here are the five main things from Sharif’s speech at the UN, and India’s point-by-point rebuttal.
1) Sharif: Palestinians and Kashmiris ( are) oppressed by foreign occupation; persecuted minorities; and the discrimination against Muslim refugees fleeing persecution or war. The international community must redress these injustices against the Muslim people.
Singh: Regrettable that Pakistan is once again choosing to misuse the UN general assembly session to distort reality and portray a false picture of the challenges in our region.
Swarup: Pakistan PM gets foreign occupation right, occupier wrong. We urge early vacation of Pak-occupied Kashmir.
2) Sharif: Pakistan is the primary victim of terrorism. We have lost thousands of lives including civilians and soldiers to terrorist violence. The blood that has been shed – including that of our innocent children – has reinforced our resolve to eliminate this scourge from our society. We will fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, irrespective of who their sponsors are.
Singh: In truth, Pakistan is actually a victim of its own policies of breeding and sponsoring terrorists. 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.
Swarup: Pakistan’s instability arises from its breeding of terrorists. Blaming neighbours is not a solution...Pakistan is not primary victim of terrorism but of its own policies. It is in fact the prime sponsor of terrorism.
3) Sharif: In 1997 when the Composite Dialogue was launched with India, our two countries agreed that this would encompass two principal items: Kashmir and peace and security, along with six other issues,including terrorism. The primacy and urgency of addressing these two issues is even more compelling today. Consultations with Kashmiris, who are an integral part of the dispute, are essential to evolving a peaceful solution. Since 1947, the Kashmir dispute has remained unresolved. UN Security Council resolutions have remained unimplemented. Three generations of Kashmiris have only seen broken promises and brutal oppression. Over 100,000 have died in their struggle for self-determination. This is the most persistent failure of the United Nations.
Singh: 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”. Singh asserted that on each occasion, it is India that has extended the hand of friendship.
4) Sharif: Today ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary are intensifying, causing civilian deaths including women and children. Wisdom dictates that our immediate neighbour refrains from fomenting instability in Pakistan. The two countries should address and resolve the causes of tension and take all possible measures to avert further escalation. That is why I want to use the opportunity today to propose a new peace initiative with India, starting with measures that are the simplest to implement.
Singh: The world knows that the primary reason for firing is to provide cover to terrorists crossing the border. It needs no imagination to figure out which side initiates this exchange.
5) Sharif: Steps( should) be taken to demilitarise Kashmir.
Swarup:To de-militarise Kashmir is not the answer, to de-terrorise Pakistan is.