New York, Sep 28: Strongly hitting back at Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech at the UN General Assembly, India has said its citizens do not need anyone else to speak on their behalf and “least of all those who have built an industry of terrorism from the ideology of hate”.
Khan delivered his maiden speech at the 74th UN General Debate on Friday and in his almost 50-minute address, devoted much of his time to Kashmir, highlighting the ongoing clampdown in the valley.
India exercised its right of reply to the statement made by Khan later on Friday and fielded its newest diplomat at its mission at the UN to rebut the allegations made by former Pakistan cricket captain.
“Every word spoken from the podium of this august Assembly, it is believed, carries the weight of history. Unfortunately, what we heard today from Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan was a callous portrayal of the world in binary terms. Us vsThem; Rich vs Poor; North vs South; Developed Vs Developing; Muslims vs Others. A script that fosters divisiveness at the United Nations. Attempts to sharpen differences and stir up hatred, are simply put—‘hate speech’,” First Secretary in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN VidishaMaitra said.
Maitra said that rarely had the General Assembly witnessed such “misuse, rather abuse”, of an opportunity to reflect.
“Words matter in diplomacy. Invocation of phrases such as “pogrom”, “bloodbath”, “racial superiority”, “pick up the gun” and “fight to the end” reflect a medieval mindset and not a 21st century vision.”
“Pogroms, Prime Minister Imran Khan Niazi, are not a phenomenon of today’s vibrant democracies,” she said.
“We would request you to refresh your rather sketchy understanding of history. Do not forget the gruesome genocide perpetrated by Pakistan against its own people in 1971 and the role played by Lt Gen AAK Niazi. A sordid fact that the Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh reminded this Assembly about earlier this afternoon.”
Maitra said Khan’s “threat of unleashing nuclear devastation qualifies as brinksmanship, not statesmanship.”
“Even coming from the leader of a country that has monopolised the entire value chain of the industry of terrorism, Prime Minister Khan’s justification of terrorism was brazen and incendiary,” she said.
“Citizens of India do not need anyone else to speak on their behalf, least of all those who have built an industry of terrorism from the ideology of hate,” she said.
Maitra added that after having “mainstreamed terrorism and hate speech”, Pakistan is trying to play its wild card as the new-found champion of human rights.
In his address, Khan had invited UN Observers to Pakistan to verify that there are no militant organisations in Pakistan.
Maitra said the world would hold him to that promise. She said a few questions that Pakistan could respond to as a precursor to the proposed verification, is that would Khan “deny to the city of New York that he was an open defender of Osama bin Laden?
“Can Pakistan confirm the fact that it is home to 130 UN designated terrorists and 25 terrorist entities listed by the UN, as of today?
“Will Pakistan acknowledge that it is the only government in the world that provides pension to an individual listed by the UN in the Al Qaeda and Da’esh Sanctions list!
“Can Pakistan explain why here in New York, its premier bank, the Habib Bank, had to shut shop after it was fined millions of dollars over terror financing?
“Will Pakistan deny that the Financial Action Task Force has put the country on notice for its violations of more than 20 of the 27 key parameters?”
Khan, who was once a cricket player, and “believed in the gentleman’s game, today gave a speech that “bordered on crudeness of the variety that is reminiscent of the guns of Darra Adam Khel”.
She said Pakistan is a country that has shrunk the size of its minority community from 23 per cent in 1947 to 3 per cent today and has subjected Christians, Sikhs, Ahmadiyas, Hindus, Shias, Pashtuns, Sindhis and Balochis to draconian blasphemy laws, systemic persecution, blatant abuse and forced conversions.
“Their newfound fascination for preaching human rights is akin to trophy-hunting of the endangered mountain goat–markhor,” she said.
“Pakistan’s virulent reaction to the removal of an outdated and temporary provision that was hindering development and integration of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir stemmed from the fact that those who throve on conflict never welcomed the ray of peace,” Maitra said.
Asserting that while Pakistan has ventured to “upstream terrorism and downstream hate speech” there, India is going ahead with “mainstreaming” development in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The mainstreaming of Jammu and Kashmir, as well as Ladakh, in India’s thriving and vibrant democracy with a millennia-old heritage of diversity, pluralism and tolerance is well and truly under way. Irreversibly so,” she said.
No power can stop KPs from returning to Kashmir: Rajnath
Mangaluru, Jan 27: No power can now stop Kashmiri Pandits from going back to Kashmir, defence minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday, forcefully defending the NDA government’s decision to reorganize Jammu and Kashmir and abrogating its special status under Article 370.
In an address at a rally, the defence minister also sent a strong message to Pakistan and said India will not let anyone live in peace if it is harmed.
“We will not touch anyone, but if someone bothers us, then we are not going to let them live in peace,” he said.
Referring to the exodus of a large number of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley in the late 1990s at the height of militancy, Singh said no power now can stop them from returning to their homes.
On the Citizenship Amendment Act, the minister said it is not a law to hurt the sentiments of any religion but to give relief to victims of religious persecution.
“Mahatma Gandhi had told Nehru to give citizenship to minorities like Hindus and Sikhs if they come to India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has fulfilled that vision by bringing in the law,” Singh said.
On several non-BJP states refusing to implement the CAA, the defence minister said it it is a central law and everyone should follow it.
Accusing the Congress of misleading people on the issue, he said the party should not forget its duty towards the nation just because it is in opposition.
More snow, rains from today
Srinagar, Jan 27: The local meteorological department has predicted yet another spell of rains and snow in Kashmir from Tuesday, even as minimum temperatures settled above the freezing point on Monday, providing some relief to the people.
In a statement, the MeT department predicted widespread moderate rains and snow on Tuesday which will dwindle to scattered places by Wednesday.
“Generally cloudy sky to widespread light to moderate rain/snow from night of 27th January. Widespread moderate rain and snow for the next two days,” read the MeT statement.
On Monday, Srinagar recorded a minimum temperature of 0.6 degrees Celsius, up from the minus 0.2 degrees Celsius on Sunday, a MET official said.
He said the night temperature in the city was above the freezing point for the first time in recent days and it was 1.6 degrees above normal for this part of the season.
In Qazigund the gateway town to the valley in south Kashmir the minimum settled at a low of 0.8 degrees Celsius an increase of 1.5 degrees from the previous night’s minus 0.7 degrees Celsius.
The night temperature in Pahalgam tourist resort in south Kashmir settled at a low of minus 10.4 degrees Celsius down over seven degrees from the minus 3 degrees Celsius on Sunday and Pahalgam was the coldest recorded place in the Kashmir Valley, the official added.
The ski-resort of Gulmarg, in north Kashmir, registered a minimum of minus 10.2 degrees Celsius, the official added.
The night temperature in Kokernag in south settled at a low of minus 0.8 degrees Celsius, while Kupwara in north recorded a low of minus 4.4 degrees Celsius, the official said.
Leh in Ladakh Union Territory recorded a low of minus 18.4 degrees Celsius, he said, adding the nearby Drass registered a minimum of minus 27.8 degrees Celsius.
Nixing Sher-e-Kashmir from awards political vendetta: NC
Srinagar, Jan 27: National Conference Monday took strong exception to axing of the name of Sheikh Abdullah from various J&K police gallantry awards, saying the measure has taken vendetta to a higher level.
During a meet of party functionaries here, the NC leaders and workers unanimously condemned the axing of ‘Sher-e-Kashmir from J&K Police gallantry awards.
“It is a calibrated effort to trim every single symbol of J&K’s political individuality. The present ruling dispensation in Delhi heaving with subjective prejudices and complexes against ideals revolving around the Indian constitution and the spirits of its accommodative federalism hasn’t ceased its witch hunt against everything recognisable with sheikh Abdullah. The axing of Sher-e-Kashmir’s name from state gallantry awards should be seen in that direction. It is yet another glaring attempt of perversion aimed to distort J&K’s history, which has long been familiarized with Sheikh Abdullah even decades after his physically leaving the world,” said party spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar.
He said nixing Sher-e-Kashmir’s name from awards, and state holidays cannot erase him from J&K’s history.
“His persona is above petty recognitions, and awards. A conscious leader, he preached to his countrymen to overcome timidity and prejudices. He decried lack of courage as a biggest curse in achieving self-respect,” he said.
While rebuffing former deputy CM Nirmal Singh’s remarks on Sheikh Abdullah, Imran said: “We unequivocally condemn his uncouth remarks against Sheikh Sahib. Being lost into the obscurity he is hitting on the tallest political statesman and charismatic mass leader of J&K and Sub-continent to gain cheap publicity.”
Meanwhile party’s members of parliament Muhammad Akbar Lone and (Retd) Justice Hassnain Masoodi also condemned axing of Sher-e-Kashmir’s name from JK police gallantry awards, terming the move “vengeful and shocking”.