India made the UN a venue of its disinformation campaign against Pakistan: Observers
India using UN to malign Pakistan amid criticism of its anti-Muslim violence; rights abuses in Kashmir: Observers
UNITED NATIONS, With India feeling the heat from growing international criticism of its state-sponsored anti-Muslim violence across the country and the continuing atrocities in occupied Kashmir, New Delhi has made the UN a venue of its disinformation campaign against Pakistan to divert attention from the sorry state of affairs at home, according to diplomatic observers.
But the campaign, they said, is not succeeding. The reason: Indian Ambassador TS Tirumurti’s recent outbursts in the UN Security Council, of which India is a member, linking Pakistan to terrorism fell flat amid international media headlines such as “Impending genocide of Muslims in India,” “Hate speech reaching dangerous levels”, Hijab ban in India sparks outrage and protests, and “Human rights abuses escalate in Indian-occupied Kashmir”.
On his part, Tirumurti has been projecting India as a victim of terrorism, asserting that his country has long borne the brunt of cross-border terrorism while referring to the 2008 Mumbai attack and the 2016 Pathankot terror act.
By doing this, India, the observers at the UN believe, is not only failing to divert attention from the deteriorating domestic human rights situation, but also undermining the credibility of the UN bodies of which it is a member.
On the other hand, Pakistan has been effectively countering Indian allegations against Pakistan and New Delhi’s attempt to pose as a victim of terrorism before the international community.
“India is not a victim of terrorism,” Pakistan UN Ambassador Munir Akram said in several meetings of the 15-member Council and other UIN forums.
“It is the mother ship of terrorism in South Asia,” the Pakistani envoy has told delegates.
“It is Pakistan which has suffered from terrorism in operations that have been conducted since 2014,” he asserted.
“We have cleared our territories of terrorist groups. Our major challenge has been the continued terrorist attacks, financed, sponsored, and supported by our neighbor India, including from the territory of Afghanistan,” Ambassador Akram highlighted.
With the active support of the Indian intelligence agencies, ambassador Akram said the TTP and JUA terrorist groups have been involved in many cross-border terrorist attacks against the Pakistani military and civilian targets.
Indeed, diplomatic observers here see India’s rhetoric at the UN as a smokescreen for its sponsorship of terrorism in the region.
An alarming report in The New York Times recently received close attention at the UN and across the United States. Reporting from Haridwar, the leading US newspaper said that Hindu vigilantes have beaten people accused of disrespecting cows, dragged couples out of trains, cafes and homes on suspicion that Hindu women might be seduced by Muslim men; and barged into religious gatherings where they suspect people are being converted.
Gregory Stanton, the founder of Genocide Watch, a nonprofit group, who raised similar warnings ahead of the massacres in Rwanda in the 1990s, told a US congressional briefing that the demonizing and discriminatory “processes” that lead to genocide have been well underway in India.
In an interview with the Times, he said Myanmar was an example of how the easy dissemination of misinformation and hate speech on social media prepares the ground for violence. The difference in India, he said, is that it would be the mobs taking action instead of the military.
“You have to stop it now,” he said, “because once the mobs take over it could really turn deadly.”
And the world-renowned political scientist and activist Noam Chomsky went a step further. He said that Islamophobia has taken a “most lethal form” in India, and turned some 250 million Indian Muslims into a “persecuted minority.”
“The pathology of Islamophobia is growing throughout the West — It is taking its most lethal form in India,” Chomsky, who is also Professor Emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), said in a video message to a webinar organized last week by Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), a Washington-based advocacy organization.
Apart from Chomsky, several other academics and activists took part in the webinar on “Worsening Hate Speech and Violence in India.”
Chomsky also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s right-wing Hindu nationalist regime has sharply escalated the “crimes” in Kashmir.’
“The crimes in Kashmir have a long history,” he said, adding that the state was now a “brutally occupied territory and its military control in some ways is similar to occupied Palestine.”
In this regard, the observers pointed out that India’s increasing opposition to the UN’s moves aimed at countering Islamophobia as well as its terrorist attacks against Muslims and their places of worship reflects the agenda of RSS, the Indian supremacist terrorist organization, which has called for the violent suppression of the country’s Muslim minority and was responsible for the 2002 program in Gujarat in 2002.
India tried to block the consensus of the international community in the most recent review of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (GCTS) which calls upon member states to take appropriate measures to address the new and emerging threats posed by the rise in terrorist attacks on the basis of xenophobia, racism and other forms of intolerance, or in the name of religion or belief.
The strategy also calls for countering direct and indirect forms of religious and racial discrimination and incitement to hostility, hatred and violence propagated by terrorist groups. Despite Indian opposition, the UN Strategy was adopted.
Over the years, India has financed, sponsored, and supported terrorist groups to attack Pakistan from Afghanistan, it was pointed out. Pakistan shared concrete evidence in the form of a dossier on the involvement of Indian intelligence agencies in sponsoring UN-listed terrorist organizations such as TTP & JUA, involved in cross-border terrorist attacks against Pakistani military and civilian targets.
The 28th report of the UN Monitoring Team focusing on the global threat posed by Al-Qaeda, Daesh and related groups and the 12th report of the Monitoring Team on Afghanistan highlighted increasing cross-border terrorist threat posed by proscribed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to Pakistan from the Afghan soil as result of the re-unification of the group in Afghanistan.
In his remarks at one of the recent Security Council meetings, Ambassador Munir Akram said that South Asia was witnessing the rule by a populist, supremacist government, elected on the basis of an agenda of religious exclusivity and hatred for other religious and caste communities.
“It brands the Muslim minority and certain ‘castes’ as racially inferior and even as ‘untouchables’,” he had said, adding that this was contrary to every principle of equality and human rights.
“The campaign to extinguish the freedom sought by the Muslim majority in occupied Jammu and Kashmir is ominously termed as the ‘Final Solution,” Ambassador Akram said.
“Alarmingly,” he went to say, “these extremist ideologies also seek to destabilize neighbouring countries through a concerted campaign of disinformation and fake news as a weapon of foreign policy.”