India on Sunday exercised its Right to Reply, in response to the statement of Pakistan External Affairs Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, at the 73rd session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) General Debate. A statement titled ‘New Pakistan cast in the mould of old’ was released by India in this regard and presented before the UNGA by Eenam Gambhir, India's first secretary in Permanent Mission to UN.
India has said that by exercising the right to reply, it wants to “reject the baseless allegations made by the Foreign Minister of Pakistan”. The letter by India reads that the delegation “came to this august Assembly to listen attentively to the new Foreign Minister of Pakistan outline the vision of a 'New Pakistan'. What we heard is a 'New Pakistan' cast in the mould of the old.”
Ready for a Quick Quiz Question?
— Syed Akbaruddin (@AkbaruddinIndia) September 30, 2018
The letter further read, “I, therefore, am constrained to take the floor to exercise India's Right to Reply, to reject the baseless allegations made by the Foreign Minister of Pakistan.”
In its response, India has strongly rejected “the preposterous allegation relating to the horrific terror attack on a Peshawar school four years ago”.
“Let me recollect for the new government of Pakistan the outpouring of sorrow and pain in India that followed the massacre of innocent children in 2014. Both houses of India's Parliament had expressed solidarity while paying respect to the memory of those killed. Schools all over India had observed two minutes of silence in their memory,” India has said.
“The despicable insinuation made by the Foreign Minister of Pakistan dishonors the memory of the innocent lives lost to terrorists on that day. It is a desperate attempt to look away from the monster of terror that Pakistan has itself created in its quest to destabilise its neighbours and covet their territory.”
The statement further refers to the issue of Kashmir, reiterating India’s stand that the “entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is and will remain an integral part” of the country.
It also raises some questions on Pakistan’s claim of turning “the tide against terrorism”. The questions are:
# Can Pakistan deny the fact that it is the host and patron of 132 of the UN-designated terrorists and 22 terrorist entities under the 1267 and the 1988 UN Security Council sanctions regime as of today?
# Will Pakistan deny that UN-designated terrorist Ha& Saeed enjoys a free run inside Pakistan and spews venom and sets up candidates for electoral office?
New Delhi has also dismissed the claims of the ‘New Pakistan’ to be a “champion” of human rights, terming it as “verbal duplicity”.
“We have also noticed an effort of the 'New Pakistan' to champion human rights. This is vintage verbal duplicity. It is evident from the recent example of the Princeton economist, Professor Atif Mian's appointment and removal from the Economic Advisory Council on grounds that he belongs to a 'minority'. Before preaching to the world, championing of human rights should begin at home. We have also today heard support by Pakistan for a report no Member State had asked for; none supported; and on which no action was taken,” reads the letter by India.
India has further reiterated that “talks and terror cannot go together”.