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Pakistan Should Stop Systematic Persecution of its Religious Minorities: India at UNHRC

Representative image.

Representative image.

In India's Right to Reply at the 43rd Session of UN Human Rights Council here, First Secretary at the Ministry of External Affairs, Vimarsh Aryan, said the pathetic situation of minorities in Pakistan is well known where the systematic misuse of blasphemy laws has condemned their lives utterly miserable.

Geneva: India on Tuesday described Pakistan as "epicentre of global terrorism" and asked Islamabad to exercise "good neighbourliness" and stop systematic persecution of its religious minorities.

In India's Right to Reply at the 43rd Session of UN Human Rights Council here, First Secretary at the Ministry of External Affairs, Vimarsh Aryan, said the pathetic situation of minorities in Pakistan is well known where the systematic misuse of blasphemy laws has condemned their lives utterly miserable.

"A country that categorizes its minority communities into second or third tiers of citizenship is evoked with sudden sympathy for minorities in other countries," Aryan said as he rejected all the untenable and unsolicited remarks made by Pakistan against India.

Noting that Pakistan set up a minority commission after more than 60 years of its existence, he said that no minorities can represent themselves in the so-called minority commission.

Pakistan "should practise tolerance towards their minorities and good neighbourliness towards us so that the South-Asian region sees eternal peace the absence of which can mostly be attributed to Pakistani deep state," he said.

Referring to the death sentences meted out regularly under the blasphemy laws in Pakistan, he said the country has the distinction of having more cases under the controversial law than the rest of the world combined together in the last decade.

"Systematic socio-economic discrimination, onslaught against religious and ethnic minorities with the full state support are manifested in organized attacks on Churches in Punjab, denial of last rites for Hindu community in Sindh, religious apartheid against Ahmadis, burning of houses belonging to Hindu Bheel community in Sindh, abduction of minor Hindu girls for sexual exploitation in Sindh, abduction of a Christian girl in Lahore...," he said.

"One can only advise this country to stop looking others but rather rectify its ongoing structural discrimination and policies against its minorities," the Indian diplomat said. "This epicentre of global terrorism very irresponsibly harps on self-determination of the already democratic Jammu and Kashmir," he said.

Aryan said India's decision in Jammu and Kashmir is "within our sovereign right and is an internal matter of India. Jammu and Kashmir is an integral and inalienable part of India."

Pakistan has been unsuccessfully trying to drum up international support against India for withdrawing Jammu and Kashmir's special status on August 5 and bifurcating it into two Union territories.

India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 was its internal matter. It also advised Pakistan to accept the reality and stop all anti-India propaganda. "Jammu and Kashmir has been, is and will continue to be an integral part of India, and Pakistan should cease to covet it," he added.


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