Mon, 30 Mar 2020

Geneva [Switzerland], Feb 26 (ANI): India on Wednesday lambasted Pakistan for raking up the Kashmir issue at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session, saying that it is ironic on part of the "the epicentre of global terrorism" to lecture others about human rights.

Speaking at the 43rd session of the UNHRC in Geneva, senior Indian diplomat Vikas Swarup said that Jammu and Kashmir was, is, and shall forever remain an integral part of India and that the situation in the region is "quite normal despite Pakistan's best efforts over decades to destabilise it through externally-instigated terror".

"Speaking of terrorism, it is only logical to respond to the remarks made by the delegation of Pakistan, which is the epicentre of global terrorism. It is more than a little ironical that the nation that has become the world's leading exporter of terror and violence seeks to lecture others about human rights. Nonetheless, let me set the record straight on the issues raised," said Swarup, Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs.

"Jammu and Kashmir was, is, and shall forever remain an integral part of India. The transformative changes brought by our Parliament in last August were meant to strengthen the integration of the (erstwhile) state, including to give full play to representative government from the grassroots level upward," he said.

Swarup's remarks came a day after the Pakistani delegation at the UNHRC raised the Kashmir issue -- the subject of heightened tensions between India and Pakistan since the revocation of Article 370 of the Constitution that scrapped the region of its special status.

He said: "It was intended to ensure the extension of all progressive legislation passed for the entire country to cover this region, and to resume the pace of socio-economic development in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.""Indeed, these measures are already showing positive results, despite Pakistan's best efforts over decades to destabilise the state through externally-instigated terror and a campaign of canards and untruth, the situation on the ground is quite normal," he added.

Swarup noted that most temporary restrictions imposed "to ensure solely the safety of people from Pakistani-trained terrorist attacks" following the revocation of Article 370 have been removed.

"Political processes have resumed, telecom facilities have largely been restored, developmental activities are being undertaken at a rapid pace, and there is access for all to education, and healthcare," he said.

"These have been achieved despite Pakistan's attempts to promote, both, violence within our territory, with an 81 per cent increase in infiltration attempts since last August and disinformation outside," he added.

Swarup called on the world community to take decisive action against those who direct, control, fund, or shelter terrorists.

"As a nation that has suffered for decades from cross-border terrorism, India calls for decisive action against those who direct, control, fund, or shelter terrorists," Swarup said.

"We are happy to note that the HRC advisory committee is working on a report on this issue. We remain ready to work with all partners to fully stop all support from reaching terrorists, denying terrorists access to safe havens, and extraditing and bringing to justice perpetrators of terrorism and their supporters," he added.(ANI)

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