India lambasts Pak for raking up Kashmir issue at UNHRC, raises worsening rights situation in that country

Geneva [Switzerland], Mar 4 (ANI): India on Wednesday lambasted Pakistan for raking up the Kashmir issue at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), and asked the country to rather work constructively and devote equal attention to protection and promotion of human rights of its own minorities.

Exercising its right to reply at the 43rd session of the UNHRC, Vimarsh Aryan, First Secretary, India's permanent mission to UNOG, remarked that at a time when Pakistani delegation is raising "false and fabricated concerns" for rights of human rights defenders elsewhere, its own human rights defenders are bearing the brunt of real draconian laws in the country.

"Human Rights Council is responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights universally. However, quite ironically, what we heard from the Pakistani delegation was an attempt to polarise and politicise this august forum in order to propagate an illegal, immoral and inhuman territorial ambition," Aryan said.

"The blatant and incessant abuse of various agenda items of this important Council Session by Pakistan to malign my country is hard to miss as is their hypocrisy and fakery that only intends to politicize this august forum. The international community has abundantly witnessed hysterical statements of Pakistan at various international fora and we believe that Pakistan's nefarious designs aimed only at damaging the syncretic fabric of Indian society will never succeed," he said.

The diplomat brought to the session's notice the repeated references by the international community of the enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings of journalists, lawyers and human rights activists systematically carried out by the Pakistani security agencies.

"Women human rights activists are the prime targets in the military operations in Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan Provinces of Pakistan. Legitimate criticism and Political dissidents are routinely targeted through intimidations and killings by Pakistan," he said.

The diplomat said that Jammu and Kashmir was, is, and will continue to be an integral part of India.

"The biggest threat to the human rights of our people including defenders in Jammu and Kashmir comes from the pernicious cradle of global terrorism which is Pakistan and whose top leadership has openly acknowledged the same," Aryan said.

"Jammu & Kashmir has been, is and will continue to be an integral part of India and Pakistan should cease to covet it. We ask Pakistan that instead of spewing lies for self-serving mendacious propaganda, work constructively and devote equal attention to protection and promotion of rights of human rights defenders including those from the minorities," he added.

" As far as OIC is concerned, it has no locus standi to comment on the internal affairs of India," the diplomat concluded. (ANI)