India slammed Pakistan foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s remarks on Kashmir and minorities and said that it is ironic that Islamabad which committed a grave violation of minority rights is speaking about the rights of minorities. India’s joint secretary of the UN Economic and Social Srinivas Gotru said at the United Nations on Wednesday at a high-level meeting on the rights of minorities.
It is ironic, India’s joint secretary said, that Pakistan is raising the issue of minority rights when it is a country that committed the gravest violations of minority rights. Minority girls are being subjected to abductions, forced marriages and conversions within Pakistan, while India has a special ministry for minority welfare that looks after religious and linguistic minorities, the secretary said adding that Pakistan even bringing up the issue is ‘amazing’.
Singling out Pakistan’s comments, the joint secretary said, “I am constrained to respond to one delegation that has chosen yet again to misuse this forum to raise false allegations against my country.”
“It is ironic that Pakistan is speaking of the rights of minorities. For a country that has even stopped publishing its data to hide its shameful record, it is amazing that they have even brought up the subject. It has a long history of having committed the gravest violations of minority rights that the world has ever seen. We know what Pakistan has done to its minorities. It has decimated them. Some of these minorities have become extinct in Pakistan. Even today, Pakistan continues to commit grave violations of the rights of the Sikhs, Hindus, Christiana and the Ahmadis,” he said.
“Thousand of women and children, particularly girls from minority communities have been subjected to abductions, forced marriages and conversions in Pakistan,” he said.
“The entire Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh were, our and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India, irrespective of what the representative of Pakistan believes or covets. We call on Pakistan to stop cross-border terrorism so that our citizens can exercise their right to life, and liberty. We hope that they will desist from attempts to abuse and politicize such meetings,” he added.
The charge was against Pakistan foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto who at the UN claimed that India is transforming into a Hindu State. “Today, one of the worst manifestations of such Islamophobia is in Hindutva-inspired India. Driven by the ideology of hate against Muslims, the (ruling) BJP-RSS regime is executing its century-old plan to obliterate India’s Islamic legacy and to transform India into an exclusive Hindu state,” Bilawal said.
As India’s joint secretary began his speech about the rights of the minorities, he said, “Minorities live in every country and in every region of the world often being subject to exclusion, exploitation and discrimination Ensuring their equality, their inclusive development while preserving their distinctive identity are essential to sustainable peace, economic prosperity within a society and indeed to realising the universal value of leaving no one behind.”
“India is a multi-lingual, multi-ethnic and multi-religious society. The Constitution of India guarantees the protection and promotion of the rights of all minority communities. It is a fundamental right given to citizens to conserve his or her distinct language, script or culture. Every minority community has the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice and provide instruction to their children in their own mother tongue,” he added.
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