“One delegation here has given a running commentary with offensive rhetoric of false allegations and concocted charges against my country. The world is aware that this fabricated narrative comes from the epicentre of global terrorism where ring leaders are sheltered for years,” Vijay Thakur Singh, secretary (east) in the foreign ministry told the UN body.
“This country conducts cross border terrorism as form of alternate diplomacy,” she added, without once naming Pakistan in her brief but biting response where she first spoke about parliament’s decision to amend the law on Jammu and Kashmir in televised proceedings.
She stressed that restrictions, introduced to ensure security of people in Jammu and Kashmir from cross border terrorism, were gradually being eased. And then turned the focus back on Pakistan and terrorism, asking the 47-member human rights council and the international community to speak out against terror.
“Silence only emboldens terrorists. It also encourages their intimidatory tactics. India appeals to the international community to work together in the fight against terrorism and their sponsors.
In a pointed counter offensive targeting Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the senior Indian official asked the world to call out those misusing “this platform for malicious political agendas under the garb of human rights.
“Those who are attempting this speak on the human rights of minorities in other countries whilst trampling upon them at will in their own country. They cry victim when they actually are the perpetrators,” she said.
Vijay Thakur Singh’s steered clear of the specifics. But just a few hours earlier in India, a former lawmaker from Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Baldev Singh, sent an SOS message to the Indian Prime Minister to seek political asylum. Not only are Hindus and Sikhs being “tortured” in Pakistan, Singh said, but even Muslims are not safe in the neighbouring country.
Outside the entrance to the UN building in Geneva, there was also a quiet protest with posters and banners highlighting the human rights transgressions in Pakistan’s Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The “#PakistanStopGenocide” campaign, a movement created by the Balochis seeks to rouse international support as they remain sandwiched in the middle of what they call is a Pakistani-sanctioned genocide, said extra-judicial killings, torture, and forced disappearances of rights activists had been key elements of the Pakistani state’s terror campaign against Balochistan.
In his statement a few hours earlier, Shah Mahmood Qureshi had focused entirely on Pakistan’s version of the events in Kashmir. Qureshi had accused India of turning Kashmir into the planet’s largest prison and sought an international investigation by the UNHRC into the situation in Kashmir.
When he emerged out of the UNHRC meet, Qureshi sought to summarise his argument on Jammu and Kashmir - which Pakistan describes as Indian-occupied Kashmir - for the television cameras. But he slipped up and described it as an “Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir”.
“India is trying to give an impression to the world that life has returned to normalcy. If life has returned to normalcy, then I say, why don’t they allow you, the international media, why don’t they allow international organisations, the NGOs, civil society organisations to go into the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir and see for themselves what the reality is,” Qureshi said.