Hindustan Times (West UP)

India hits out at Pak on terror, persecutio­n of minorities at UNHRC

- HT Correspond­ent letters@hindustant­imes.com

NEW DELHI: India on Tuesday criticised Pakistan for again raising the Kashmir issue at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), saying the government in Islamabad had failed to tackle terrorism or prevent the “systematic persecutio­n” of religious minorities.

New Delhi’s position was conveyed in response to a speech by Pakistan’s representa­tive at the UN human rights agency following an update on the global human rights situation by UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet last week. Bachelet had said restrictio­ns on communicat­ions in Jammu and Kashmir remained a concern.

Pawan Badhe, first secretary in India’s permanent mission in Geneva, said Pakistan has “ignored that terrorism is the worst form of human rights abuse and the supporters of terrorism are the worst abusers of human rights”.

“The members of this council are well aware that Pakistan has provided pensions to dreaded and listed terrorists out of state funds and has the dubious distinctio­n of hosting the largest number of terrorists proscribed by the UN,” he said. Pakistani leaders had “admitted the fact that it has become a factory for producing terrorists”, he added.

HOLY SITES OF PAKISTAN’S RELIGIOUS MINORITIES HAVE BEEN ‘ATTACKED AND VANDALISED DAILY’, HE ADDED. FIRST SECY IN INDIA’S PERMANENT MISSION SAID

Turning to Pakistan’s religious minorities, Badhe said: “The council should ask Pakistan why the size of its minority communitie­s such as Christians, Hindus and Sikhs has drasticall­y shrunk since independen­ce and why they and other communitie­s, such as Ahmadiyas, Shias, Pashtuns, Sindhis and Baloch, have been subjected to draconian blasphemy laws, systemic persecutio­n, blatant abuses and forced conversion­s.”

Holy sites of Pakistan’s religious minorities have been “attacked and vandalised daily”, he added.

Enforced disappeara­nces, extra-judicial killings and arbitrary detentions of those who speak against the security establishm­ent are “rampant in Pakistan and have been carried out by the state’s security agencies with impunity”, Badhe said.

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