NEW DELHI: India slammed Pakistan for raking up the Kashmir issue at the United Nations General Assembly saying the country was an “arsonist disguising itself as the firefighter” and that terrorists enjoy a free pass there.
“We exercise our right of reply to one more attempt by the leader of Pakistan to tarnish the image of this august forum by bringing in matters internal to my country, and going so far as to spew falsehoods on the world stage,” first secretary Sneha Dubey said, referring to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech. The Indian diplomat said such statements deserved the collective contempt and sympathy of the Assembly for a person who utters falsehood repeatedly. “I am taking the floor to set the record straight,” she said.
In his address at the 76th UNGA, Khan raked up the Kashmir issue by mentioning the abrogation of Article 370 and also the death of pro-Pakistan separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Dubey went on to add that Pakistan nurtures terrorists in its backyard. “Our region, and in fact the entire world, has suffered because of their policies. On the other hand, they are trying to cover up sectarian violence in their country as acts of terror,” she said.
Following Khan’s address, India exercised its right to reply and reiterated that Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh were, are and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India, including those areas under the “illegal occupation of Pakistan.” Before Khan, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised the Kashmir issue. But, the issue gained no momentum with most member-states maintaining that the matter was an issue that Pakistan and India need to deal with.
The Indian diplomat slammed Islamabad for glorifying al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden as a martyr. “Regrettably, even today we heard the leader of Pakistan trying to justify acts of terror. Such defence of terrorism is unacceptable in the modern world,” she added.