India exercises ‘Right of Reply’ against Pakistan foreign minister’s remarks on Kashmir at UN

India has exercised the ‘right of reply’ against Pakistan foreign minister’s remarks on minorities and Kashmir at the United Nations.

Indian diplomat Srinivas Gotru. (Photo: Facebook)

India on Wednesday exercised its ‘right of reply’ against remarks made by Pakistan’s foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on minorities in India and the issue of Kashmir at the United Nations.

Speaking at the UN High-Level Meeting on the Rights of Minorities on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Indian diplomat Srinivas Gotru reminded Pakistan to introspect before levelling false allegations against India.

Setting the record straight, Gotru said, “It is ironic that Pakistan is speaking about the rights of minorities. For a country that has even stopped publishing its data to hide its shameful record, it is amazing that they have even brought up this subject. It has a history of committing the gravest violations that the world has ever seen. We know what Pakistan has done to its minorities. It has decimated them...”

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Reminding the world body of the atrocities against minorities, the Indian diplomat referred to recent incidents of forced abduction and marriage of girls from Hindu, Sikh and Christian families in Pakistan.

“Even today, Pakistan continues to violate the rights of the Sikhs, Hindus, Christians and the Ahmediyas... Thousands of women and children, particularly from minority communities, have been subjected to abduction, forced marriages and conversions within Pakistan,” he said.

To the Pakistan foreign minister raking up the issue of Kashmir and abrogation of certain provisions of Article 370, Gotru emphasised that instead of making claims over Jammu and Kashmir, Islamabad should stop ‘cross-border terrorism’.

“The entire union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh were, are and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India, irrespective of what the representative of Pakistan believes,” he said.

He said, “We call on Pakistan to stop cross-border terrorism so that our citizens can exercise their rights to life and liberty.”

The United Nations General Assembly session is underway at the UN headquarters in New York. While Pakistan is represented by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, India will be represented by Dr Jaishankar, who is slated to speak on Saturday. Both sides will exercise their ‘right of reply’ after the leader of the other country speaks.

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