Delhi hits again at Islamabad’s cost of “focusing on” its spiritual minorities
India and Pakistan sparred at a Commonwealth Overseas Affairs Ministerial assembly on Wednesday, after Pakistan raised the problem of Jammu and Kashmir and accused India of “focusing on” its spiritual minorities.
“For a state to hypocritically preach about spiritual minority teams elsewhere, whereas trampling upon the rights of its personal indigenous minorities, was certainly most regrettable, and a blatant misuse of this august platform,” mentioned Secretary (West) on the Ministry of Exterior Affairs, Vikas Swarup, in response to what he referred to as a “rant” by Pakistan Overseas Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the Commonwealth meet, held through videoconference, though he didn’t title Pakistan straight.
In his speech, Mr. Qureshi had additionally not named India straight however accused “a state” in South Asia of “focusing on spiritual minority teams”. “It has transgressed rights and freedoms of tens of millions and fanned hyper-nationalism to engineer unlawful demographic change in a disputed territory,” he mentioned, in an obvious reference to the federal government’s transfer to reorganise Jammu and Kashmir and dilute Article 370 in August 2019.
“The one dispute left in what it alleged right now as a ‘disputed territory’ is its personal unlawful occupation of sure elements, which in the end, it must vacate,” Mr. Swarup replied, referring to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. He additionally accused Pakistan of “genocide” in the course of the liberation of Bangladesh and of internet hosting the most important variety of terrorists proscribed by the United Nations.
The Commonwealth assembly is one in all a collection of boards the place Indian and Pakistani officers have exchanged phrases in current months, together with in the course of the 8-nation South Asian Affiliation for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Overseas Ministers assembly and the 27-nation Convention on Interplay and Confidence-Constructing Measures in Asia (CICA), when Pakistan sought to deliver bilateral disputes with India into multilateral talks. NSA Ajit Doval also walked out during a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation when Pakistan Particular Advisor to PM Imran Khan (SAPM) Moeed Yusuf displayed a brand new map of Pakistan that includes extra Indian territory in it.
The newest change between the 2 nations comes two days after Mr. Yusuf claimed that India had despatched a “message” to Pakistan earlier this yr, exploring the potential for a “dialog”, and set what he referred to as Pakistan’s phrases for any bilateral engagement.
“Now we have bought a message for a want for dialog,” Mr. Moeed Yusuf mentioned in an interview to The Wire information portal however refused to offer additional particulars, saying Pakistan wished to speak to India about Jammu and Kashmir and terrorism.
The Ministry of Exterior Affairs declined to touch upon Mr. Yusuf’s declare however is predicted to challenge a full assertion in response on Thursday.
No talks have been held between the nations since Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Lahore to meet former Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif in December 2015, and the federal government has maintained that Pakistan should finish cross-border terrorism earlier than talks may be held.