In a strong rebuff to Pakistan for raising the issue of killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani and Kashmir at the UN, India accused it of extolling the virtues of terrorists and “coveting” the territory of others.
The hard-hitting rebuttal by India’s Ambassador to the UN Syed Akbaruddin came after provocative remarks made by Pakistan’s envoy Maleeha Lodhi on Kashmir and Wani’s killing during a debate on human rights in the 193-member UN General Assembly here yesterday.
In her statement, Lodhi, apart from raising the Kashmir issue, also mentioned the “extra-judicial” killing of Wani, whom she described as a “Kashmiri leader”, by Indian forces. Lodhi, who has regularly raised the issue of Kashmir at various UN fora, termed Wani’s killing as the “most chilling recent example” of “human rights violations” by Indian forces in Kashmir.
Alleging that the denial of self-determination to Kashmiri people had led to arbitrary detentions, summary executions and other “atrocious” violations, she said, “Its most chilling recent example is the extra-judicial killing last week of a Kashmiri leader, Burhan Wani, shot to death by Indian forces along with dozens of other innocent Kashmiris.”
Hitting back, Akbaruddin said Pakistan “extols” the virtues of terrorists and could not gain membership of the UN’s human rights body because of its “track record”. Lashing out at Lodhi’s raising of the Kashmir issue at the multi-lateral world body, Akbaruddin said it is regrettable that Pakistan attempted to “misuse” the UN platform.
“Regrettably, earlier today we have seen an attempt at misuse of this UN platform. The attempt came from Pakistan; a country that covets the territory of others; a country that uses terrorism as state policy towards that misguided end; a country that extols the virtues of terrorists and that provides sanctuary to UN-designated terrorists; and a country that masquerades its efforts as support for human rights and self determination,” he said.
“The international community has long seen through such designs. Cynical attempts, like the one this morning therefore, find no resonance in this forum or elsewhere in the United Nations,” he said. “We remain strongly committed to the promotion and protection of all human rights for all through pursuit of dialogue and cooperation,” he said.
At least 30 people have been killed and more than 250 injured in the clashes between protesters and security personnel after Wani’s killing in an encounter last week.
The UN has expressed concern over the tensed situation in Kashmir, with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calling on all parties to exercise “maximum restraint to avoid further violence and hopes that all concerns would be addressed through peaceful means.”