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Right of Reply by India in response to the Statement by Pakistan under the Agenda Item 4 at 34th Session of the Human Rights Council on March 15, 2017

March 15, 2017

Mr President

My delegation wishes to exercise its right of reply in response to the statement made by Pakistan.

Once again the delegation of Pakistan has chosen to misuse the Human Rights Council to make fallacious references about internal matters pertaining to the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Terrorism is the grossest violation of human rights and should be so acknowledged by any impartial and objective observer.

A part of the territories of our State remain under the forcible and illegal occupation of Pakistan. It is unfortunate that in recent times the people of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir have become victims of sectarian conflict, terrorism and extreme economic hardship because of Pakistan's occupation and discriminatory policies. The Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir is part of a pluralistic and secular democracy, where an independent judiciary, an active media and a vibrant civil society guarantee freedoms. In contrast, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is administered by a ‘deep state’ and has become a hub for the global export of terror.

Pakistan's continued support for terror groups operating in Jammu and Kashmir is the main challenge to protecting the human rights of our citizens in the State. Pakistan's selective approach in tackling terror groups operating outside Pakistan and within, despite the numerous solemn promises made underscores the continuing unwillingness to acknowledge the truth.

Apart from becoming world’s terrorism factory, Pakistan has also alienated its own people through continued mistreatment of Hindus, Christians, Shias, Ahmadiyas and other minorities. In this Council, Pakistan has referred to situation of minorities in India. Minorities in India have been Prime Ministers, Presidents, Vice-Presidents, senior Cabinet Ministers, senior civil servants, cricket team captains, Bollywood superstars-can the minorities of Pakistan claim even a shadow of this? All they have are blasphemy laws and relentless abuse and violation of their human rights.

Mr. President,

We do not accept attempts by Pakistan to denigrate the democratic choice that has been regularly exercised by the people of Jammu & Kashmir over the last six decades since our independence. We ask Pakistan to stop inciting and supporting violence and terrorism in any part of India and refrain from meddling in our internal affairs in any manner. Pakistan must rein in its compulsive hostility towards India. We also demand that Pakistan must fulfil its obligation to vacate illegal occupation of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.

Thank you.

*****

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