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Monday, Nov 18, 2019

On Kashmir pitch, Pakistan told ‘citizens of India’ don’t need support

During his UN speech on Friday, Imran Khan suggested that nuclear-armed Pakistan may not have much of a choice if a conventional war were to break out between Pakistan and India.

world Updated: Sep 28, 2019 12:49 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
An Indian security personnel stands guard on a deserted road during restrictions after scrapping of the special constitutional status for Kashmir by the Indian government, in Srinagar, August 23, 2019.
An Indian security personnel stands guard on a deserted road during restrictions after scrapping of the special constitutional status for Kashmir by the Indian government, in Srinagar, August 23, 2019. (Reuters)
         

Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan’s threat of nuclear war is not statesmanship, India said on Saturday while exercising its right of reply to Khan’s speech at United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Friday, adding that the country was home to 130 UN designated terrorists.

PM Imran Khan’s threat of unleashing nuclear devastation qualifies as brinksmanship not statesmanship,” Vidisha Maitra, first secretary MEA said.

During his UN speech on Friday, Imran Khan, who has acknowledged that he hadn’t received worthwhile response to his pitch about alleged human rights violations in Kashmir, suggested that nuclear-armed Pakistan may not have much of a choice if a conventional war were to break out between Pakistan and India which he described as a country seven-times” its size. “What choice would I have… I will fight,” he said.

Bombarding Khan with questions, Maitra asked: “Can Pakistan PM confirm that it is home to 130 UN designated terrorists and 25 terrorist entities listed by the UN? Will Pakistan deny that Financial Action Task Force has put the country on notice for its violations of more than 20 of the 27 key parameters? And would PM Imran Khan deny to the city of New York that he was an open defender of Osama bin Laden?”

‘Do not forget 1971 genocide’

The first secretary added that PM Imran Khan has invited UN observers to Pakistan to verify that there are no militant organisations in Pakistan and the world would hold him to that promise. “Pogroms, PM Imran Khan Niazi, are not a phenomenon of today’s vibrant democracies. We would request you to refresh your rather sketchy understanding of history. Do not forget the gruesome genocide perpetrated by Pakistan against its own people in 1971.” She was referring to Pakistan’s military operation during 1971 liberation war in Bangladesh, erstwhile east Pakistan, which triggered a genocide killing 3 million innocent people.

On Jammu and Kashmir Maitra added: “The mainstreaming of Jammu & Kashmir, as well as Ladakh, in India’s thriving and vibrant democracy with a millennia-old heritage of diversity, pluralism and tolerance is well and truly underway. Irreversibly so… Citizens of India do not need anyone else to speak on their behalf, least of all those who have built an industry of terrorism from the ideology of hate.”

‘Pension to terrorist’

Reminding Pakistan of its recent move on terror mastermind Hafiz Saeed, Maitra in a sharp riposte asked: “Will Pakistan acknowledge that it is the only government in the world that provides pension to an individual listed by the UN in the Al-Qaeda and Daesh sanctions list?”.She was referring to Pakistan’s approaching the UN security council (UNSC) committee with a request to let Lashkar-e-Taiba emir Hafiz Saeed to withdraw money for what Islamabad described as “necessary basic living expenses”.

Saeed, chief of UN-designated terrorist organisation Jammat--ud-Dawa was banned in December 2008 by the UNSC after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks in which 166 people were killed. Four years later, the United States had announced a US $ 10 million bounty for his arrest. Saeed had tried to get off the UN list earlier this year but the attempt was blocked.

Minorities in Pakistan

Maitra reminded Khan of his country’s human rights records when regarding minorities. “This a country that has shrunk the size of its minority community from 23% in 1947 to 3% today and has subjected Christians, Sikhs, Ahmadiyas, Hindus, Shias, Pashtuns, Sindhis and Balochis to draconian blasphemy laws, systemic persecution, blatant abuse and forced conversions,” Maitra said.

“For someone who was once a cricketer and believed in the gentleman’s game, today’s speech bordered on crudeness of the variety that is reminiscent of the guns of Darra Adam Khel,” she added. Darra Adam Khel is a town in Frontier Region Kohat located in between Kohat and Peshawar, within the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan. It has gained notoriety for its bazaars packed with gunsmiths, weapons merchants and arms factories.