I have been forced to take the floor to call out the blatant misrepresentation of facts and false narrative peddled by Pakistan in all its statements today. This is an ill-disguised effort to advance its territorial ambitions. We reject this propaganda.
2. I wish to inform the Council that Article 370 was a temporary provision of the Indian Constitution. The recent modification to Article 370 is within our sovereign right and entirely an internal matter of India.
3. The decision removes impediments to the enjoyment of civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights of our citizens in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, especially those dealing with women, children and disadvantaged sections of our society in that region.
4. We are not surprised at Pakistan’s hysterical statements with false, fabricated narratives aimed to politicize and polarize this forum. Pakistan realises that our recent decision cuts the very ground from under its feet by creating obstacles in its continuing sponsorship of cross border terrorism against India. In this desperate mind-frame, some Pakistan leaders have even gone as far as to call for ‘Jihad’ and to encourage violence both inside Jammu and Kashmir and in third countries, in order to paint a picture of ‘genocide’ which even they know is far from reality.
5. Pakistan has today pretended to speak as the voice of the global community on human rights. But the world cannot be fooled. Pakistan’s gory record speaks for itself. This rhetoric will not distract international attention from Pakistan’s persecution and elimination of religious and ethnic minorities – be it the Christians, Sikhs, Shias, Ahmadiyas and Hindus. This is the reason that Pakistan no longer publishes official statistics about its minorities as India does. Blatant abuse of blasphemy laws in Pakistan to persecute minorities is well documented. Aasia Bibi, the Christian woman was incarcerated for years. So was Abdul Shakoor, the 82 year old Ahmadiya, under Anti-Terrorism Act for selling books. The recent case of abduction, forced conversion and marriage of a minor Sikh girl Jagjit Kaur, exemplifies the state of women, especially from the minority communities in Pakistan. And today, in this Council Pakistan has the audacity to tell others about human rights that it so egregiously violates again and again.
6. As regards OIC, it has no locus standi to comment on the internal affairs of India.
7. Jammu & Kashmir has been, is and shall continue to be an integral part of India. Pakistan’s nefarious designs will never succeed because the people of India are united in their determination to preserve our territorial integrity along with our core values of democracy, tolerance and unity in diversity. Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh will continue to progress and prosper along with the rest of India.
8. It defies credibility that Pakistan, which is the epicentre of global terrorism is claiming to speak on behalf of unnamed countries on the issue of human rights. It forgets that terrorism is the worst form of human rights abuse.