India vehemently discarded Pakistan foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s remarks on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir at a United Nations Security Council session, saying it was “unworthy” to even respond to such “malicious and false propaganda”.
India’s response came after Bhutto, on Tuesday, mentioned “occupied” Jammu and Kashmir several times while speaking about violence and crimes against women in his remarks to the Council debate on women, peace and security held under Mozambique’s Presidency for this month, on the eve of International Women’s Day.
"The right of women & girls to access all levels of education and work is a fundamental right in keeping with Islamic injunctions," said Foreign Minister of Pakistan, @BBhuttoZardari during the UNSC Open Debate on "Women & peace and security.” #APPNews @UN_CSW @PakistanUN_NY pic.twitter.com/hJWHJydgZ6— APP 🇵🇰 (@appcsocialmedia) March 8, 2023
Ruchira Kamboj, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador, retorted sharply against the Pakistan minister and termed his statement as “frivolous, baseless and politically motivated”.
“My delegation,” she said, “considers it unworthy to even respond to such malicious and false propaganda.”
“Rather, our focus is where it shall always be – positive and forward-looking. Today’s discussion is critically important to strengthen our collective efforts to accelerate the full implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda. We respect the topic of the debate and recognise the importance of time. As such, our focus shall remain on the topic,” she asserted.
India and Pakistan have fought several wars over the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir. The ties came under severe strain when India's warplanes pounded a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist training camp in Pakistan's Balakot in February 2019 in response to the Pulwama terror attack.
The relations further deteriorated after India in August 2019 announced the withdrawal of Jammu and Kashmir's special powers and the bifurcation of the erstwhile state into Union Territories.
India has previously told Pakistan that the entire territories of the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been, are, and shall always be part of India. The country maintains that it desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan while insisting that the onus is on Islamabad to create an environment that is free of terror and hostility for such an engagement.
(With PTI inputs)