New York: India on Friday slammed Pakistan as an “arsonist disguising itself as a firefighter” and a country that nurtures terrorists in its backyard as a matter of state policy which has led the entire region and world to suffer, in reply to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s tirade against the country at the UN General Assembly.
Sneha Dubey, First Secretary in India’s UN Mission, in a scathing attack on Pakistan, also reminded the world that Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, was sheltered in Pakistan.
“The world has not forgotten that the mastermind behind the dastardly event Osama bin Laden got shelter in Pakistan,” she said, and added that the Pakistani leadership continues to glorify Osama as a martyr.
“Regrettably, even today we heard the leader of Pakistan trying to justify acts of terror. Such defence of terrorism is unacceptable in the modern world,” she said, exercising India’s Right of Reply.
Referring to the state of minorities in Pakistan, she said: “Today, the minorities in Pakistan, the Sikhs, Hindus, Christians, live in constant fear and state-sponsored suppression of their rights. This is a regime where anti-Semitism is normalised by its leadership and even justified. Dissenting voices are muzzled daily and enforced disappearances and extra judicial killings are well documented.”
Responding to Imran Khan’s claims about treatment of minorities in India, the young diplomat said: “Pluralism is a concept which is very difficult to understand for Pakistan which constitutionally prohibits its minorities from aspiring for high offices of the State. The least they could do is introspect before exposing themselves to ridicule on the world stage”
“Unlike Pakistan, India is a pluralistic democracy with a substantial population of minorities who have gone on to hold highest offices in the country including as President, Prime Minister, Chief Justices and Chiefs of Army staff. India is also a country with a free media and an independent judiciary that keeps a watch and protects our Constitution.”
On Imran Khan’s allegations of “war crimes” by India, she referred to the genocide perpetrated in Bangladesh in 1971 during and before the War of Independence in which more than 300,000 people were killed by Pakistan and hundreds of thousand women raped.