Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. Photo: Economic Times

After Pakistan accused the Indian security forces of committing “war crimes” in Kashmir, India responded by calling its neighbor “Terroristan” at the United Nations General Assembly on Friday.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Pakistan’s new prime minister, brought up the Kashmir issue at the General Assembly on Thursday, saying, “Pakistan demands an international investigation into India’s crimes in Kashmir.” He also demanded an international investigation “to verify the nature and extent of India’s human rights violations, secure the punishment of those responsible and provide justice and relief to the victims,” Hindustan Times reported.

India responded to the Pakistani leader’s maiden speech, saying it was extraordinary that the country that protected Osama Bin Laden and sheltered Mullah Omar had the audacity to play the victim, PTI reported. Eenam Gambhir, the first secretary of the Permanent Mission of India to the UN, said, “By now, all Pakistan’s neighbors are painfully familiar with these tactics to create a narrative based on distortions, deception and deceit.”

She added: “In its short history, Pakistan has become a geography synonymous with terror. The quest for a land of pure has actually produced ‘the land of pure terror.’ Pakistan is now ‘Terroristan’, with a flourishing industry producing and exporting global terrorism. Its current state can be gauged from the fact that Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, a leader of the United Nations-designated terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba, is now sought to be legitimized as a leader of a political party.”

Accusing India of violating the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir, Abbasi said that Pakistan had shown restraint but “if India does venture across the LoC, or acts upon its doctrine of ‘limited’ war against Pakistan, it will evoke a strong and matching response.”

Abbasi further claimed that there were no Taliban safe havens in the country. He said, “Having suffered and sacrificed so much due to our role in the global counterterrorism campaign, it is especially galling for Pakistan to be blamed for the military or political stalemate in Afghanistan.”

Gambhir responded: “Even as terrorists thrive in Pakistan and roam its streets with impunity, we have heard it lecture about the protection of human rights in India. The world does not need lessons on democracy and human rights from a country whose own situation is charitably described as a failed state.”

The Indian diplomat continued her attack on Pakistan, saying: “Pakistan must understand that the state of Jammu and Kashmir is and will always remain an integral part of India. However much it scales up cross-border terrorism, it will never succeed in undermining India’s territorial integrity.”

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