BY IFTIKHAR ALI
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 22 (APP): A senior Pakistani diplomat has rejected a claim by an Indian delegate that Pakistan was promoting terrorism in occupied Kashmir and elsewhere, saying the Kashmiri people’s uprising “was spontaneous and indigenous”.
The Indian delegate, Eenam Gambhir, made the accusation while exercising her right of reply to Prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s forceful speech in the UN General Assembly in support of Kashmiri people.
“The Indian government has chosen to criticize the statement by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, which reflects the sentiments and aspirations of the oppressed people of Jammu and Kashmir, who have, for seventy years faced bullets, repression and the brutalities of illegal occupation,” Dr. Muhammad Faisal, a director general in the Foreign office, said in the 193-member Assembly while reacting to some serious allegations leveled by Ms. Gambhir.
“The dispute of Jammu and Kashmir cannot be wished away,” the Pakistani diplomat said. Pakistan, he said, would continue to stand by the people of Jammu and Kashmir and extend its full diplomatic and political support to their movement for freedom from Indian oppression.
“The cold-blooded murder of Burhan Wani sparked widespread and unprecedented protests across Kashmir, which was spontaneous and indigenous and was irrefutable evidence of the Kashmiri peoples rejection of Indian occupation,” Faisal told the General Assembly.
“But peaceful protesters were mercilessly fired upon, blinded and critically injured,” he said. “Yet, the use of brutal force cannot extinguish their burning aspiration. Ever day young and old come, defying the curfew and dodging the bullets, only to assert their right to determine their own destiny.
“The Right to self-determination has been promised to them by the international community through a series of Security Council resolutions. Although this promise has yet to be realized, seven decades later, time has not weakened their resolve, nor their aspirations. In fact, it remains active and vibrant in the hearts of the Kashmiris.’
The Pakistani diplomat said the Kashmiri people looked towards the international community, especially the members of the UN Security Council, to deliver on the pledge to hold a free, fair and impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices, to enable them to decide their future, a democratic and legal right of the Kashmiri people.
“No amount of verbiage used by the Indian delegation can obfuscate this reality,” Faisal said
In her statement, the Indian delegate criticized PM Sharif for glorifying Burhan Wani, who she claimed belonged to a terrorist organization.
India, she said, was firmly resolved to protect all its citizens from all acts of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. “We cannot and will not allow terrorism to prevail.”