India, Pak spar over Kashmir unrest, Burhan killing
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India, Pak spar over Kashmir unrest, Burhan killing

In a rebuff to Pakistan for raising the issue of killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani and Kashmir at the UN, India accused it of “extolling the virtues of terrorists” and "coveting" the territory of others.

In a rebuff to Pakistan for raising the issue of killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani and Kashmir at the UN, India accused it of "extolling the virtues of terrorists" and "coveting" the territory of others.

The rebuttal by India's Ambassador to the UN Syed Akbaruddin came after remarks made by Pakistan's envoy Maleeha Lodhi on Kashmir and Wani's killing during a debate on human rights in the 193-member UN General Assembly here yesterday.

In her statement, Lodhi, apart from raising the Kashmir issue, also mentioned the "extra-judicial" killing of Wani, whom she described as a "Kashmiri leader", by Indian forces.

Lodhi, who has regularly raised the issue of Kashmir at various UN fora, termed Wani's killing as the "most chilling recent example" of "human rights violations" by Indian forces in Kashmir.

Alleging that the denial of self-determination to Kashmiri people had led to arbitrary detentions, summary executions and other "atrocious" violations, she said, "Its most chilling recent example is the extra-judicial killing last week of a Kashmiri leader, Burhan Wani, shot to death by Indian forces along with dozens of other innocent Kashmiris."

Hitting back, Akbaruddin said Pakistan "extols" the virtues of terrorists and could not gain membership of the UN's human rights body because of its "track record".

Akbaruddin said it is regrettable that Pakistan attempted to "misuse" the UN platform.

"Regrettably, earlier today we have seen an attempt at misuse of this UN platform. The attempt came from Pakistan; a country that covets the territory of others; a country that uses terrorism as state policy towards that misguided end; a country that extols the virtues of terrorists and that provides sanctuary to UN-designated terrorists; and a country that masquerades its efforts as support for human rights and self determination," he said.

"The international community has long seen through such designs. Cynical attempts, like the one this morning therefore, find no resonance in this forum or elsewhere in the United Nations," he said.

"We remain strongly committed to the promotion and protection of all human rights for all through pursuit of dialogue and cooperation," he said.

In New Delhi, India accused it of not only infiltrating militants but also fanning discontent within the Valley by providing support to militant outfits.

Asserting that Wani issue was internal to India, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said Pakistan has no locus standi in the matter and asked it to refrain from interfering in it.

Asked if there was a shift in Pakistan strategy vis-a-vis Kashmir where one sees increase in number of 'home-grown militants', he said, "It is part of the continued strategy of Pakistan of not only infiltrating militants from across the border but also fanning discontent within the Valley by prodviding various support to militant outfits."

Terming Pakistan's continued effort to internationalise the Kashmir  issue as "a self-serving exercise towards narrow political end", Swarup said the world has a clear view about which country in the region covets the territory of others, uses terrorism as state policy, provides sanctuary to UN- designated terrorists and terror groups and violates human rights.

"Terrorism is terrorism and no amount of justification on part of Pakistan is going to change that," he said.

Referring to summoning of Indian envoy in Islamabad by Pakistan  Foreign Office to raise Kashmir situation, Swarup said, the envoy  conveyed to Pakistan that it was an internal matter of India. He  also said India rejected the demarche issued in the matter to him.

Rejecting reports that Pakistan envoy here Abdul Basit will be summoned on the issue, Swarup said since it is an internal issue, India sees no reason to involve Pakistan which has no locus standi in the matter.

He also said that recent comments by Pakistan after the killing of Wani, Hizbul commander, reflect its continued attachment to terrorism and its usage as an instrument of State policy.

While Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has expressed "shock" over Wani's killing his Foreign Office termed it "extra-judicial". On statements by Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed that the ongoing protests in Kashmir would be intensified and warning  that the deaths in the region would not be in vain, Swarup said it was incumbent upon Pakistan to reign-in such elements because if there has to be durable peace, such elements have to be controlled.

Asked if apart from Pakistan, any other Muslim country has raised Kashmir situation with India, he said there has been a statement by Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in this regard. "No locus standi and we don't need any gratis advice from anyone," he retorted.

Yesterday, OIC issued a statement saying it "condemned, in the strongest terms, the killing of at least thirty civilians and injuring hundreds of others at the peaceful demonstrations being held to protest the killing on 8th July 2016 of Kashmiri leader Wani by the Indian security forces."

It also called for a thorough and expedient investigation on the incident.

'BURHAN WAS FREEDOM FIGHTER'

Upping the ante, Islamabad on Thursday described slain Hizbul commander Burhan Wani and other militants as people "fighting for freedom" and accused Indian forces of committing "state-terrorism" in Kashmir.

"The Indian security forces are involved in state- terrorism in Kashmir and the international community should take notice of it," Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said at his weekly briefing here.

In response to a question, Zakaria described slain Hizbul commander Wani and other militants as people "fighting for freedom."

He said Pakistan has informed the international community including the OIC, P-5 and EU about "atrocities" by the Indian forces and human rights violations in Kashmir.

Zakaria said Pakistan's ambassadors have been tasked to brief the host governments and human rights organisations on the issue.

He also asked the UN to get its resolutions on Kashmir implemented as it was UN's responsibility to solve international disputes including Kashmir.

"We want resolution of Kashmir in accordance of UN resolutions. If you (UN) want to intervene in helping resolution of Kashmir then it is your obligation," he said.

He said Pakistan wants to resolve all outstanding issues including Kashmir with India through talks, as war is not a solution to any issue.

"We have fought wars over Kashmir and also have been in talks but there was no result. So, the international community should put pressure on India to hold talks with Pakistan for resolution of Kashmir issue," he said.

Zakaria said India was not qualified to become a permanent member of UNSC as it was constantly violating UN resolutions.

To a question, he said that the planned SAARC Summit will be held in November in Islamabad. 

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