India’s actions in Valley may lead to catastrophe: Pakistan

14 Dec 2019

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NEW YORK: Ambassador Munir Akram, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN, speaks at the General Assembly during a debate on Culture of Peace at the United Nations headquarters.—INP
NEW YORK: Ambassador Munir Akram, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN, speaks at the General Assembly during a debate on Culture of Peace at the United Nations headquarters.—INP

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has warned that India’s unilateral annexation of Jammu and Kashmir, imposition of a crippling curfew in the disputed state and mass arrest of Kashmiris and its hostile actions against Indian Muslims could propel South Asia “towards a catastrophe”.

“It is high time for the international community to wake up to the clear and present danger and intervene to defuse this India-instigated crisis,” Ambassador Munir Akram told the UN General Assembly on Thursday.

Speaking at a debate on “Culture of Peace”, the Pakistani envoy said that as a party to the Kashmir dispute, the United Nations had an obligation to secure the implementation of the Security Council’s resolutions and also to protect the human rights of the Kashmiri people, including their right to self-determination.

In his speech, Ambassador Akram deplored that the war on terror, following the Sept 11 2001 terrorist attacks on US landmarks, had virtually turned into a war on Islam.

The “pernicious” equation of Islam with terrorism had been used to justify discrimination against Muslim individuals, communities and entire nations as well as a series of foreign invasions in the Muslim world, he said.

“It has also justified denial of justice and self-determination to the Palestinian and Kashmiri people,” he said.

Noting that Islamophobia was becoming even more pervasive, the Pakistani envoy said that the phenomenon had assumed a deadly dimension in India.

The mothership of governing Bharatiya Janata Party was the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a fascist organisation created almost 100 years ago by its founder, Gowalker, who advocated cleansing of Muslims and other minorities from India’s Aryan Hindu population, Ambassador Akram said.

“The RSS gangs of violent thugs organise and behave like Hitler’s Brown Shirts.” He said that a RSS member had assassinated Mahatama Gandhi and in 1992 the organisation’s mob destroyed the historic Babri Mosque in Ayodhya. Last month, the Indian Supreme Court handed over the mosque site to those who destroyed it to build a Hindu temple there.

Published in Dawn, December 14th, 2019