New Delhi, Jun 22 (PTI) In a hard-hitting criticism of Pakistan, India on Tuesday said the time has come for holding the neighbouring country accountable for aiding and abetting terrorism and referred to increasing cases of enforced disappearances, extra-judicial killings and arbitrary detentions of political activists and minorities there.
At a session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, India also slammed Pakistan for raising the Kashmir issue and making 'unfounded and irresponsible' allegations against India during an interactive dialogue on an annual report.
'The scourge of terrorism is the gravest violation of human rights and must be dealt with in strongest terms in all its forms and manifestations,' said Pawan Kumar Badhe, the first secretary in India's permanent mission to the UN in Geneva.
'Pakistan, as its state policy, continues to provide pensions to dreaded and listed terrorists and hosts them on its territory. It is high time that Pakistan is held accountable for aiding and abetting terrorism,' he said.
Badhe made the remarks under the right of reply following Pakistan's comments.
The official said it is regrettable that Pakistan has once again 'misused' the platform for making 'unfounded and irresponsible' allegations against India.
'Pakistan has been doing this only to distract the Council's attention from the deplorable human rights situation in Pakistan. The plight of minorities in Pakistan is evident from their shrinking size,' he said.
Badhe said that 'forced conversions' have become a daily phenomenon in Pakistan.
'We have seen reports of minor girls belonging to religious minorities being abducted, raped, forcibly converted and married. More than 1000 girls, belonging to religious minorities, are forcibly converted in Pakistan every year,' he said.
'Systemic persecution of minorities, including Christians, Ahmadiya, Sikhs, Hindus through draconian blasphemy laws, forced conversions and marriages and extrajudicial killings, has become a regular phenomenon in Pakistan. Holy and ancient sites of religious minorities in Pakistan have been attacked and vandalised,' he said.
The Indian official also said that Pakistan has become the land of 'enforced disappearances, extra-judicial killings and arbitrary detentions' of political activists, students, journalists, human rights defenders and minorities.
'Pakistan has the dubious distinction of being listed as one of the most dangerous countries for practice of journalism,' he said.
'Journalists are threatened, intimidated, taken off air, kidnapped and in some cases killed, mainly to silence critics of the establishment. While families of victims continue to struggle for justice, the perpetrators of these acts have enjoyed complete impunity,' Badhe added. PTI MPB TIR TIR