Calling it a sponsor of terrorism, India, on 1 October, has asked Pakistan to vacate the part of Kashmir it has occupied. Dismissing Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s speech at the UN, India accused him of misusing the forum to “distort reality and portray a false picture of the challenges in our region”.
In a strongly-worded statement, Abhishek Singh, first secretary, Permanent Mission of India to the UN said, “The world watches with concern as the consequences of terrorism and its use have spread beyond its immediate neighbourhood. The heart of the matter is the use of terrorism as a tool of statecraft.”
In his speech at the UN, Sharif brought up Kashmir, saying non-resolution of the issue was a failure of the UN and proposed a four-point “peace initiative”, including measures to demilitarise Kashmir and an unconditional mutual withdrawal from Siachen Glacier.
Exercising a Right of Reply, India said, Sharif’s portrayal of Pakistan as the “primary victim of terrorism” was inaccurate.
“De-militarising Kashmir is not the answer, but to de-terrorize Pakistan is,” tweeted foreign ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup soon after Sharif’s address.
“In truth, Pakistan is a victim of its own policies of breeding and sponsoring terrorists. Seeking to mask its activities in Jammu and Kashmir carries no credibility with the world,” said Abhishek Singh.
“All of us stand prepared to help, if only the creators of this monster wake up to the dangers of what they have done to themselves,” added Singh. On Sharif saying J&K is “under foreign occupation”, Singh said, “It is, except that the occupier in question is Pakistan.”
Noting Pakistan’s s apparent regret that dialogue has not progressed, Singh said, “If it is so, this is because Pakistan has chosen to disregard its commitments.
Sharif’s reference to ceasefire violations and exchange of fire along the Line of Control, India said, “The world knows that the reason for firing is to provide cover to terrorists crossing the border. It needs no imagination to figure out which side initiates this exchange.”