Entire J&K, Ladakh integral, inalienable part of India: MEA at UN

New York [US]: Ministry of External Affairs Under Secretary Jagpreet Kaur on Wednesday said the entire Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh is an integral and inalienable part of India.

“We reject the factually incorrect and unwarranted references to India in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) statement. The entire territory of Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh is an integral and inalienable part of India. OIC has lost its credibility by taking a blatantly, partisan and factually incorrect approach on this issue,” the MEA Under Secretary said at the UN 17th Meeting of the 52nd Regular Session of Human Rights.

She said India denies the baseless allegations.

The response by India came after Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari recently mentioned “occupied” Jammu and Kashmir several times while speaking about violence and crimes against women in his remarks to the Council debate on women, peace and security held under Mozambique’s Presidency for this month, on the eve of International Women’s Day.

Kaur, speaking at the UN meeting, said further, “It is chronicle that Pakistan’s own institutions, legislations and policies over the course of seven decades have denied its population and the people in the territories under its control. These truths have obliterated their hope of true democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice.”

She said it is especially true for the people in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh who have been politically repressed and persecuted. Non-discrimination remains a far cry in today’s Pakistan.

“The state of freedom of religion or belief and the plight of its minorities is well documented by this Council’s Human rights mechanisms, including treaty bodies and Universal Periodic Review (UPR),” she said.

“Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Ahmadiyyas, Hazaras, and Shias have been targeted by blasphemy laws that carry draconian penalties, including mandatory death sentences. In the face of recommendations that Pakistan has received, in January 2023, its National Assembly amended the Criminal Law to enhance the punishment for insulting sacred personalities from imprisonment of three to ten years,” the MEA Under Secretary added in her scathing response.

Further, Kaur said Pakistan’s apathy to its minorities is evident from last month’s vigilante action in Nankana Sahib where a mob stormed a police station in broad daylight and lynched a blasphemy suspect.

“While Pakistan masquerades as a champion of human rights, its top leadership has in the past openly acknowledged creating terrorist groups and training them to fight in Afghanistan and the Indian Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir,” she said.

She added, “Its policies to aid and abet terrorism have been directly responsible for the violation of human rights, including the right to life of people, not only in India but in our region and the whole world. Not surprisingly, it is now a victim of its own malevolent state policies of nurturing terror organizations as it is beset with a wide range of serious human rights concerns and other crisis especially at the current juncture.” (Agencies)

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