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‘India mother of terrorism in South Asia,’ Maleeha Lodhi tells UN

BY ANWAR IQBAL

UNITED NATIONS-Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi said that India is the mother of terrorism in South Asia, reported the state-run radio service on Sunday.

In her response to the allegations of terrorism levelled against Pakistan by India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in her address at the UN General Assembly session in New York, Lodhi said India is using terrorism as a state policy.

Exercising the right of reply to an earlier speech, Lodhi accused Swaraj of “indulging in an orgy of slander against Pakistan.”

On Saturday, Sushma Swaraj in her address accused Islamabad of terrorism. In her diatribe, she had said, “Pakistan is recognised only as the pre-eminent export factory for terror.”

“Her comments towards my country betray the hostility that the Indian leadership has towards Pakistan —the hostility we have endured for 70 years,” Ambassador Lodhi told the 72nd UNGA.
India Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj addresses the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly.—AFP
“Indian spy Kulbhushan Yadav has confessed of committing terrorism in Pakistan,” Lodhi said.

“Repeating falsehoods year after year does not and cannot conceal or alter the truth. But in her vitriol she deliberately ignored the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir.”

Lodhi noted Jammu and Kashmir was not a part of India and was recognised by the United Nations and the international community as ‘disputed” territory’. “I invite all of you, and the Indian FM, to look at the UN maps,” she said.

The Pakistani diplomat said that India’s military occupation of the State was illegal as the UN Security Council had, in over a dozen resolutions, decided that the dispute must be resolved by enabling the people of Jammu and Kashmir to determine their own destiny through a UN-supervised plebiscite.

India has been levelling allegations against Pakistan to divert international attention from the brutalities of Indian forces in held Kashmir, she said. The crimes against humanity in held Kashmir should be investigated.

She also urged the international community to stop India from ceasefire violations on the Line of Control. Pakistan wants a resolution of all outstanding issues through talks, she said, adding that India will have to give up the policy of terrorism.

Lodhi recalled that India’s brutal occupation of Kashmir has killed over 100,000 innocent Kashmiris. Although India had launched a campaign of brutality inside Kashmir — including the shooting and blinding of innocent Kashmiri children with pellet guns — and yet had failed to subdue these Kashmiri children, women and youth who came out on the streets almost daily to demand that India get out of occupied Kashmir.

“India cannot hide behind semantics. Any interstate dispute, like Kashmir, is by definition an ‘international’ dispute. If the parties fail to resolve a dispute, the UN and the international community has not only the right but the obligation to intervene and help to resolve the dispute,” she said.

As a pre-condition for a fruitful dialogue, she said that India will have to shun the policy of terrorism and supporting terrorism in Pakistan.

Lodhi also disagreed with Swaraj’s suggestion that Pakistan was avoiding bilateral talks with India. “India now also refuses a bilateral dialogue with Pakistan, either composite or comprehensive. The conditions it poses – that first there be an end of violence — begs the question. Violence emanates, first and foremost, from India’s occupation and brutal suppression of the Kashmiri people,” she maintained.

The ambassador also charged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi of being involved in the killing of Muslims in Gujrat. Hands of several leaders of the ruling party in India are stained with the blood of innocent people, she added.

Even minorities in India are not safe, she remarked.

‘Pakistan export factory for terror’
India’s foreign minister on Saturday had told the UN that Islamabad had given the world “terrorists” while India was producing top-notch doctors and engineers.

“Why is it today India is a recognised IT superpower in the world, and Pakistan is recognised only as the pre-eminent export factory for terror?” Sushma Swaraj told the General Assembly. “We produced scholars, doctors, engineers. What have you produced? You have produced terrorists.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stepped up a drive to isolate Pakistan diplomatically after the Uri army base attack in Sept 2016 in which 19 Indian soldiers were killed.

Hours after the attack occurred, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh had termed Pakistan a ‘terrorist state’ and accused Pakistan of involvement ─ a claim that Islamabad has denied.

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