The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Office Government of Pakistan said on Thursday the recent UN Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Report on terrorism had vindicated its stance that the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) operating from Afghanistan and supported by India threatened regional countries, including Pakistan.
At a weekly news briefing, Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui also accused India of “distorting” the UN report on terrorism to “slander” Pakistan and create “complications” for the Afghan peace process.
The Foreign Office reaction came after India claimed that the UN report had vindicated its long-standing position that Pakistan remained the “epicentre of international terrorism, saying that “terrorist entities and individuals continue to enjoy safe havens in that country.”
The spokesperson rejected the Indian assertion as “preposterous” saying: “Pakistan categorically rejects India’s malicious allegations, which are aimed at misleading the international community.”
“The spokesperson of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has misrepresented the Eleventh Report of the United Nations Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team (MT) concerning the Taliban and other associated individuals and entities constituting the threat to the peace, stability and security of Afghanistan, to slander Pakistan,” the spokesperson said.
She added that there was no reference to “safe havens” in Pakistan in the Monitoring Team (MT) report. “The Report is based on briefings provided in Afghanistan to the MT by certain quarters who have long expressed skepticism about the Afghan peace process. This skepticism is not shared by the larger international community, especially the UN Security Council and the UN Secretary-General.”
The MEA’s distortion and falsification of the contents of the MT report and its concocted allegations reveal that India’s agenda was to create complications for the Afghan peace process.
“Pakistan has warned the world about the role of spoilers within and outside Afghanistan,” Farooqui said, adding that Pakistan had been highlighting India’s sponsorship of terrorist organisations in Afghanistan against Pakistan.
“The MT report endorses Pakistan’s stance that Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is operating from Afghanistan and with Indian support threatens Pakistan and other countries in the region,” she pointed out.
The spokesperson said that Pakistan had proposed the listing of several Indian terrorism facilitators on the UN Security Council’s terrorism list along with evidence of their involvement in terrorism. “We hope the Security Council will designate them soon.”
She pointed out that the MT had also assessed that foreign terrorist fighters from India were traveling to Afghanistan to join the ISIL-Khorasan (ISIL-K). “Security Council resolutions require India to prevent the travel of terrorists to Afghanistan to join ISIL-K,” she added.
The report also noted that an Indian national, the leader of al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, was killed by international forces last year in Afghanistan. Earlier reports of MT also highlighted the growing strength of ISIL in India and its role in the Easter Sunday attack in 2019.
“India has been using terrorism as state policy to destabilise its neighbouring states, including Pakistan. The people of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K) have long suffered India’s state terrorism, especially after the cruel lockdown and oppression imposed by the RSS-inspired BJP-led extremist government since 5 August 2019.”
Meanwhile, responding to a media query, the spokesperson said that Pakistan completely rejected baseless Indian contentions regarding Buddhist cultural heritage in Gilgit-Baltistan. “The Indian allegations are contrary to the historical facts, international law and relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions,” she added.
“Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory recognised as such by the international community. The dispute is the longest outstanding item on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) which remains unresolved due to forcible, brutal and illegal occupation of a part of Jammu and Kashmir by India since 1947. The regurgitation of false and preposterous Indian claims does not change the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir,” she said.
She went on to say that the Indian government’s contentions concerning the Buddhist cultural heritage in Gilgit-Baltistan were preposterous and part of Indian leadership’s unrelenting anti-Pakistan propaganda.
“With its tarnished human rights record in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K) and abdication of responsibility to protect its minorities from Hindu extremists, the RSS-BJP government has no credentials whatsoever even to feign concern for minorities, either at home or elsewhere,” she said.
The spokesperson referred to India’s state terrorism and extrajudicial killings in fake encounters in IOJ&K, vandalisation and destruction of minorities’ places of worship, including the historic Babri Mosque, lynchings by cow vigilantes under government’s watch, Gujarat massacre of 2002 and targeted killing of Muslims in Delhi in February 2020, and rendering millions of people stateless with discriminatory steps such as NRC, which she said, were well documented by international human rights and humanitarian organisations.
Rather than pretending concerns for minorities beyond its borders, it was time for the Indian leadership to do serious introspection and take requisite steps to safeguard and protect the lives, rights and places of workshop of minorities in India, the spokesperson said.
“India must realise that its baseless contentions about Gilgit-Baltistan cannot divert international attention away from the Jammu & Kashmir dispute and the need for its immediate resolution in accordance with the relevant UNSC resolutions and aspirations of the Kashmiri people,” she added.
She stressed that till the implementation of the UNSC resolutions through a free and impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices, no illegal and unilateral action or repetition of false claims by India could alter the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir.