Comment from a Country that has a Truly Abysmal Human Rights Record is Not Merely Ironical but Perverse: India on Pakistan at UN

Foreign Affairs

Geneva: In a befitting reply to Pakistan, India exercised its ‘Right of Reply’ in response to references to New Delhi stating that the nation that has institutionalised the systemic persecution of its minorities and has a truly abysmal human rights record has no right to comment on India.

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Exercising the ‘Right of Reply’ at the High-Level Segment of the 55th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council, First Secretary Anupama Singh said that regarding Pakistan’s lengthy mentions of India, it is very regrettable that the Council’s forum has once again been abused to propagate flagrantly false accusations about India.

“With regard to the extensive references to India made by Pakistan, we note that it is deeply unfortunate for the Council’s platform to have once again been misused to make patently false allegations against India,” she said.

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“The entire Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh is an integral and inalienable part of India, and the constitutional measures taken by the Government of India to ensure socio-economic development and good governance in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir are matters internal to India. Pakistan has no locus standi to pronounce on matters that are internal to India,” she added.

Terming Pakistan’s human rights record as “truly abysmal,” the First Secretary said, “A country that has institutionalised the systemic persecution of its own minorities and has a truly abysmal human rights record, commenting on India, which is demonstrably making great strides in achieving economic progress and social justice, is not merely ironical but perverse.”

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“A glaring example was the large scale brutality perpetrated against the minority Christian community in Jaranwala city, Pakistan in August 2023, when 19 churches were gutted and 89 Christian houses burnt down. Three, a country that hosts and even celebrates UNSC-sanctioned terrorists, commenting on India whose pluralistic ethos and democratic credentials are exemplars for the world, is a contrast for everyone to see,” she said further.

First Secretary Anupama Singh also said that the government has failed to serve the actual interests of its citizens, and added that Pakistan sponsors terrorism around the world. “We cannot pay any further attention to a country that speaks while being soaked in red the red of the bloodshed from the terrorism it sponsors around the world; the red of its debt-riddled national balance sheets; and the red of the shame its own people feel for their government having failed to serve their actual interests,” she concluded.

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The 55th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council is taking place from February 26-April 5. India had in August last year said that an environment free of terror and hostilities was imperative for normal ties with Pakistan.

Answering queries after the then Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had expressed his willingness to hold talks with India, the Ministry of External Affairs had said that India wants normal ties with all its neighbouring countries including Pakistan. “We desire normal neighbourly relations with all our neighbours, including Pakistan. For this an environment free of terror and hostility is imperative,” a MEA spokesperson had said.

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External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had said in an earlier interview that Pakistan’s future will be largely determined by its own actions and choices and it is for the neighbouring country to find a way out of its economic troubles. Pakistan is currently grappling with economic difficulties including dwindling forex reserves, high inflation and sharp depreciation of its currency.