Lambasting Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s “glorification” of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani in his speech to the UN General Assembly, India said hailing a “self-advertised” terrorist at the forum is “self- incrimination” by the Pakistani leader.
Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar said it is “shocking” that a leader of a nation can “glorify a self- declared self-advertised terrorist” at a forum such as the United Nations General Assembly.
“We heard the glorification of a terrorist. Burhan Wani was a self-declared commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen, this organisation is widely acknowledged internationally as a terrorist group,” Akbar said at a briefing to Indian reporters here responding to Sharif’s General Debate address at the UN yesterday.
“This is self-incrimination by the Pakistan Prime Minister. We just heard a speech full of threat, bluster and what can only be described as rising immaturity and complete disregard of facts,” Akbar said.
In his nearly 20-minute speech, almost half of which was focussed on Kashmir, Sharif hailed Wani as the “symbol” of the Kashmiris’ freedom movement.
He said a “new generation” of Kashmiris has risen spontaneously against India’s “illegal occupation – demanding freedom from occupation”.
The Pakistan Prime Minister referred to Wani, who was killed in an encounter with security forces on July 8, as a “young leader” and said he has “emerged as the symbol of the latest Kashmiri Intifada, a popular and peaceful freedom movement…”
India also strongly rejected Sharif’s call for “a serious and sustained” dialogue “without any conditions”, with Akbar saying that Islamabad is talking about dialogue with a “gun in its hand”.
“Pakistan at this moment seems to be run by a war machine rather than a government. Pakistan wants dialogue while holding a terrorist gun in its hand.
“Talks and guns don’t go together. Our position on a dialogue has been consistent. We have always been ready for a dialogue but we will not succumb to the blackmail tactics of the government in Islamabad that seems eager to use terrorists and terrorism as policy,” Akbar said.
Sharif had said that Islamabad is open to discuss “all measures of restraint and responsibility” with India, in “any forum or format and without any conditions” but blamed India for posing “unacceptable preconditions” to engage in a dialogue.
He said Pakistan was also ready for talks to agree on a bilateral nuclear test ban treaty.
In a strong rejection of Sharif’s assertion that violations of human rights are being committed by Indian forces in ‘occupied’ Jammu and Kashmir, Akbar said “the only occupation in Jammu and Kashmir, which is a part of India, is the occupation of a part of Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan occupation army.”
(With PTI inputs)