Highlighting how Pakistan continues to support terror amidst coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, India has said, Pakistan must introspect upon why it is universally acknowledged as the “international epicentre of terrorism and the best safe haven for terrorists”.
Speaking at the Virtual Counter-Terrorism Week, Mahaveer Singhvi Head of Indian Delegation said, “While the world is coming together to battle the pandemic, it is unfortunate that Pakistan, a state which sponsors cross border terrorism, continues to use every opportunity to peddle false narratives and make baseless, malicious and egregious allegations against India and interfere in our internal affairs.”
The statement was made during “The global scourge of terrorism: Assessment of high-risk threats and trends including the rise of violent extremism and hate speech in a pandemic environment” when India called on the international community to ask Pakistan “to take sustained, verifiable and irreversible actions against terror outfits operating on the territory under its control”.
India listed out the Pakistani role in the terror attack on the Indian mission in Kabul, Mumbai terror attack of 2008, Pathankot attack of 2016, Uri and Pulwama. Bringing to notice the recent comments by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in the national parliament terming 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden a martyr, Singhvi said, “This is a chilling reminder of the patronage, that the international terrorists receive in Pakistan.”
In the past, Pakistan’s PM has publicly acknowledged the presence of up to 40,000 terrorists in his country and a recent report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team of the UN Security Council reported that around 6,500 Pakistani terrorists belonging to LeT and JeM are operating in Afghanistan.
On Pakistan raking Kashmir issue, India said the country “continues to peddle false and motivated narrative on the situation in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir” while it seeks “to portray its military, financial, logistical support to cross border terrorism against India as a freedom struggle. It is also peddling misinformation about India’s domestic legislation and policies”.
India also pointed out the human rights violations in Balochistan, Kyber Pakhtunkhwa and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and the “systematically and consistently discriminated against its religious and cultural minorities”. Singhvi said, “Members from minority communities have held high offices in India, including presidents and prime ministers. Pakistan, being a theocratic State, may find it difficult to fathom India’s secular credentials.”
Singhvi also added, “The least, Pakistan could do, therefore, is to look into its own sorry state of affairs and put its house in order before pointing finger at others and spewing venom against the democratically elected Indian government and its leaders.”31