India’s reply to Sharif:De-terrorize Pak & vacate PoK

SansadTV Bureau

File photo of Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. (PTI)

India has hit back at Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif after he raised the Kashmir issue at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

India rebuttal came right after Sharif’s speech where he proposed a 4-peace initiative with India to bring about peace in the Kashmir region. Sharif’s list of 4-points included, de-militarisation of the region by both sides. He also called for a “consultation with Kashmiris” to resolve the issue. During his speech Sharif called Pakistan as the “primary victim” of terrorism called the non-resolution of the Kashmir issue, a failure of United Nations.

The Indian side has given out a very strongly worded statement rebutting every point of Sharif’s speech regarding Kashmir.

India has bluntly called Pakistan a nation that breeds terrorists and sponsors terrorism. India also said that Pakistan is not a primary victim of terror as the Pakistan PM claimed in his speech. In fact, India accused Pakistan of using terror as a “legitimate instrument” of statecraft.

“In truth, it (Pakistan) is actually a victim of its own policies of breeding and sponsoring terrorists. The heart of the matter is a state that regards the use of terrorism as a legitimate instrument of statecraft….The world watches with concern as its consequences have spread beyond its immediate neighbourhood,” First Secretary in the Permanent Mission of India to the UN, Abhishek Singh said in a sharp retort exercising India’s Right of Reply during the General Debate of 70th session of UNGA.

“Pakistan is not primary victim of terrorism but of its own policies. It is in fact the prime sponsor of terrorism…. Pakistan’s instability arises from its breeding of terrorists. Blaming neighbours is not a solution,” said MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup in a series of tweets.

India took serious note of Sharif’s speech at the world body and it decided to exercise its Right of Reply at the General debate at the UNGA.

India asked Pakistan in clear terms to vacate PoK and has said the country needs to de-terrorize Pakistan if it wants peace in the Kashmir valley.

“To de-militarize Kashmir is not the answer, to de-terrorize Pakistan is,” tweeted Swarup.

“Sharif at UNGA speech: Pak PM gets foreign occupation right, occupier wrong. We urge early vacation of Pak occupied Kashmir,” said Swarup in another tweet in response to Pak PM’s allegation that “Palestinians and Kashmiris (are) oppressed by foreign occupation”.

In his speech, Sharif equated Kashmir with Palestine while talking about “suffering of Muslims across the world”.

Abhishek Singh also hit out at Pakistan on this same issue, asserting that the “occupier in question is Pakistan.”

“India remains open even today to engage Pakistan on outstanding issues in an atmosphere free of terrorism and violence,” said Singh in his Right to Reply speech at the UNGA.

India’s reply thoroughly rubbishes Sharif’s 4 point- peace agenda that said, “One, we propose that Pakistan and India formalize and respect the 2003 understanding for a complete ceasefire on the Line of Control in Kashmir. For this purpose, we call for UNMOGIP’s (UN Military Observation Group in India and Pakistan) expansion to monitor the observance of the ceasefire.

“Two, we propose, that Pakistan and India reaffirm that they will not resort to the use or the threat of use of force under any circumstances. This is a central element of the UN Charter.

“Three, steps be taken to demilitarize Kashmir.

“Four, agree to an unconditional mutual withdrawal from Siachen Glacier, the world’s highest battleground.”

India stands firmly against these measures. In fact in August 2015, Indo-Pak NSA-level talks were cancelled because India insisted that the talks between the two countries should only focus on terror and nothing else. India also insisted that Kashmiri separatists had no role to play in the bilateral talks between India and Pakistan.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif were coincidentally staying at the same hotel in New York for the UN summit, but the two did not meet on the sidelines.

Of late the ties between India and Pakistan have deteriorated and cross-border violations continue along the LoC (Line of Control) and the IB (International Border).