Statement by Ambassador Inam ul Haque, the Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations in exercise of the right of reply to the statement by the Indian Foreign Minister at the 54th session of the UN General Assembly on 22 September, 1999

Thank you, Mr. President,

Mr. President, I am taking the floor to respond to the statement by the distinguished Foreign Minister of India made earlier this evening wherein he accused Pakistan of compulsive hostility towards his country.  This statement is as disingenuous as it is hypocritical.  It would be difficult, if not impossible to be misled by Indian protestations of its pious intentions towards its neighbours in the light of history.  Since its independence, India's ambitions in the region and beyond, its proclivity to resort to the use of force, its hegemonic and expansionist policies have been amply demonstrated on numerous occasions.  To recap briefly, since its independence, India has occupied a number of territories by the use of force.  I refer to the territories of Hyderabad, Junagarh, the Portuguese territory of Goa, the Kingdom of Sikkim, Jammu and Kashmir, and its repeated aggression and imposed wars against Pakistan.  It is Indian ambitions which have also impelled it to acquire nuclear weapons thus plunging South Asia into a nuclear arms race.  It is Pakistan's compulsion to defend itself, to defend its sovereignty, to defend its territorial integrity and to defend its independence since Pakistan has suffered the brunt of Indian aggression and has once been dismembered as a result of that aggression.

Mr. President,

The distinguished Foreign Minister of India also referred to Jammu and Kashmir as the very core of Indian nationhood.  If this indeed is the core of Indian nationhood, it must be a rotten core because this core is built on the denial of the right of self-determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir pledged by India to the international community, to the Security Council, and to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Mr. President,

Most of the nations represented at this august body have acquired their nationhood and independence as a result of the exercise of this inalienable right.  No core of nationhood can be built on the denial of this basic right.  If Jammu and Kashmir is the core of Indian nationhood then it is built on the violation and open flouting of the resolutions of the UN Security Council, international law and morality; incidentally, the very body at which India aspires to obtain a permanent seat.  If this is the core of Indian nationhood it is built on massive repression, on murder, on arson, on rape of women, since in Jammu and Kashmir in the last decade alone more than 60,000 innocent people have been murdered, thousands of women have been raped and entire villages have been burnt to ground.  No nation can pride itself on having a core which is based on these despicable actions.  If this is indeed the core of Indian nationhood the less said about it the better it would be.

Mr. Chairman,

The facts of the  Jammu and Kashmir situation are that Jammu and Kashmir is not a part of India - never has been a part of India.  There are Security Council resolutions pledging the Kashmiri people their right to self determination. These were accepted by India.  The people of Jammu and Kashmir have boycotted the most recent elections and earlier elections - the sham elections held by India - and they have not participated in those elections to show their alienation and rejection of Indian rule.

Mr. Chairman,

There are more than 700,000 Indian soldiers and paramilitary forces engaged in efforts to quell the struggle of the Kashmiri people and to break their spirit through massive violations of their human rights, murders, atrocities, repression, custodial deaths, the destruction of Kashmir's economy, and all this has been documented by international human rights organizations, like Asia Watch, Amnesty International and a host of others including some within India itself.

The distinguished Foreign Minister of India also referred to Kargil,  Mr. President. Kargil was a manifestation of the continuing struggle of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to achieve their right to self-determination.  Until such time as the Kashmiri people achieve their right to self-determination their struggle will continue.

The distinguished Foreign Minister also took upon himself to accuse Pakistan of torturing some Indian soldiers or killing them in captivity.  There could be no worse falsehood than this one.  Pakistan abides by international law.  It neither tortured nor killed any Indian soldier.  It did not have to do so.  In the face of these false Indian accusations we have now resorted to the practice of inviting ICRC to the handing over of any Indian soldiers who are imprisoned by Pakistan and  captured by Pakistan when they cross over into our territory.

Mr. President,

The distinguished Foreign Minister of India also talked about international terrorism. It is odd that he should do so, since it is India which has written the book on practice of state sponsored terrorism.  India's state sponsored terrorism against the Kashmiri people is well documented.  India's state sponsored terrorism against Pakistan has resulted in the deaths of thousands of people in random violence in an effort to break the spirit of the people, to sow divisions among them, and we have confessions of hundreds of Indian agents attesting to this fact.

Mr. President,

Pious sentiments about democracy and pluralism do not mean anything unless they are put into practice.  India is a country which talks of peace and builds nuclear arsenals.  India is a country which talks of peace at the United Nations while it makes unremitting war on innocent people of Jammu and Kashmir for having dared to ask for their right to self-determination.

The path to peace is indeed open.  Pakistan has offered a dialogue, a result oriented dialogue, to India all along.  We call upon India to take the first step on this path by ending its repression in Kashmir and  entering into a dialogue with Pakistan to find a just solution of  Jammu and Kashmir according to the wishes of its people and of all other outstanding issues between our countries.

 I thank you, Mr. President.

For further information please contact:
Pakistan Mission, 8 East 65th Street, New York NY 10021.
Tel: (212) 879.8600 or E-Mail: [email protected]