On behalf of Indian delegation, Tharoor slams Pakistan over Kashmir

Belgrade, Oct 16 (NVI): Displaying political unanimity on Jammu and Kashmir, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday took the floor on behalf of Indian delegation at the forum of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)  here to slam Pakistan for misrepresenting facts and presenting false narrative about the state. 

Tharoor,  speaking after the Pakistani delegation made certain utterances regarding J&K, said it was ironic that Pakistan “that is responsible for inflicting countless cross-border terrorist attacks in Jammu & Kashmir is trying to masquerade as champion of Kashmiris. “

With Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, who is leading the Indian Parliamentary Delegation (IPD), sitting besides him, the Congress MP asserted that J&K is an integral part of India and “unwarranted references” from across the border regarding the state were neither needed nor welcome. 

“Pakistan has raised an issue that is internal to India and extraneous to our discussions for narrow political gains.  Indian delegation rejects outright and strongly condemns such references,” Tharoor said.

Noting that he is a Member of Parliament from the leading Opposition party in India, he said Pakistan’s “malicious efforts will not be allowed to succeed by the Parliament of India.”

The Congress leader added, “It is ironic that a state (Pakistan) that is responsible for inflicting countless cross-border terrorist attacks in Jammu & Kashmir is trying to masquerade as champion of Kashmiris. They are not. “

He said since J&K is India’s integral part, “We (Congress party) will continue to use our Parliament to discuss and debate with our own government on Jammu & Kashmir and other issues. We will, however, fight our own battles domestically. “

While slamming the Pakistani delegation for raking up the issue, Tharoor said, “We expect better from Parliamentarians than the vituperative mud-slinging.”

He went on to add, “We hope the delegation of Pakistan will refrain from misusing this august forum again, in the collective interest of parliaments of world focussed on serious issues that are under discussion here at the IPU Assembly.”

Later, Tharoor reiterated India’s rebuttal on Pakistan’s propaganda on Jammu and Kashmir in another session of the Assembly. 

“Before entering into what I came here to say, I regret that the vitriolic outburst by a panelist resorted to a blatant misrepresentation of facts and recycled a false narrative being peddled by his country for its own narrow political purposes and petty territorial ambitions.  This is a disappointing misuse of this platform.”

“Pakistan has raised an issue that is internal to India. As an opposition parliamentarian, I have raised and will continue to debate Kashmir and other questions with my own Government in the exercise of my democratic rights as an MP, but the kind of statement we heard from the Pakistani diplomat today is distinctly unhelpful.”

“It is particularly ironic that a state (Pakistan) that is responsible for inflicting countless cross-border terrorist attacks on Jammu and Kashmir is trying to masquerade as a champion of International law, ” the Congress member of Lok Sabha said. 

Hitting out at the neighbouring country, the former Union Minister said, “Pakistan is the only government in the world that provides a pension to an individual listed by the United Nations and the Al Qaida and Daesh sanction list.”

His reference was to Mumbai attacks mastermind and Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed. 

“Pakistan is home to 130 United Nations designated terrorists and 25 terrorist entities listed by the United Nations.  It is frankly absurd to hear fulminations about respect for human rights from a representative of such a state when terrorism is the worst possible destroyer of human rights, ” Tharoor said. 

“We hear Pakistan referring to United Nations Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir, but it very conveniently forgets its own obligations under the very first of those resolutions to first vacate its illegal occupation of Pakistan occupied Kashmir, ” said Tharoor, who has served as Under Secretary General at the UN. 

He said Pakistan has “blatantly disregarded” its other commitments under international law, whether under the 1972 Shimla Agreement on the Lahore Declaration of February 1999. 

“People in glass houses, Mr Chairman should not throw stones,” he said. 

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