U.N. must stop India from provocations to avoid dangerous escalation: Maleeha Lodhi

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UNITED NATIONS, Pakistan’s U.N. envoy Maleeha Lodhi accused New Delhi of promoting terrorism against Islamabad, violation of human rights in Jammu and Kashmir and the spread of Hindu nationalism.

If the international community wishes to “avoid a dangerous escalation between India and Pakistan”, it must call on India to halt its “provocations and aggressive actions”, Pakistan told the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 24, responding to Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj’s allegation of Islamabad promoting Islamist terrorism.

Maleeha Lodhi turned the table on India by accusing India of promoting terrorism against it, violation of human rights in Jammu and Kashmir and the spread of Hindu nationalism in India. Ms. Lodhi cited the selection of Yogi Adityanath as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh to underscore her point. “It is a government which has appointed a fanatic as the Chief Minister of India’s largest State whose rallying cry to his mobs was: ‘If they kill one Hindu, we will kill 100 Muslims’. It is a government, which has allowed the lynching of Muslims. All this is amply documented,” Ms. Lodhi said.

Ms. Swaraj said in her speech on September 23 that while India built IITs, IIMS and AIIMS during the last seven decades, Pakistan had only built “jihadi factories”. Exercising her right to response, Ms. Lodhi said Ms. Swaraj indulged in “an orgy of slander against Pakistan”.

“In her vitriol she deliberately ignored the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir,” the Pakistan representative said. Pakistan has been maintaining that unless there is progress on the “core issue” there can be no improvement in India -Pakistan ties.

Ms. Swaraj had said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been willing to engage Pakistan, but Pakistan had spurned India’s positive gestures. Ms. Lodhi said India has been scuttling talks.

“India now also refuses a bilateral dialogue with Pakistan, either composite or comprehensive. The conditions it poses that first there be an end of violence — begs the question. Violence emanates, first and foremost, from India’s occupation and brutal suppression of the Kashmiri people,” the Pakistani representative said, adding that Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory according to the United Nations. “I invite all of you, and the Indian FM, to look at the U.N. maps,” she said.

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