Pension for terrorists: India slams Pakistan
New Delhi, June 23: India on Tuesday slammed Pakistan for providing pensions to dreaded and listed terrorists and hosting them on its territory, saying it's high time that Islamabad is held accountable for aiding and abetting terrorism.
Exercising the Right of Reply to the statements made by Pakistan at the 47th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) here, the Indian representative said that 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.
"Pakistan, as its state policy, continues to provide pensions to dreaded and listed terrorists and host them on its territory. It's high time that Pakistan is held accountable for aiding and abetting terrorism," the Indian representative said.
Noting that Pakistan has once again misused this platform for making informed and irresponsible allegations against India, the Indian diplomat said that Islamabad has been doing this only to distract the Council's attention from the deplorable human rights situation in the country.
"The plight of minorities in Pakistan is evident from their shrinking size. '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 1,000 girls, belonging to religious minorities, are forcibly converted in Pakistan every year," the Indian diplomat said.
"Systematic persecution of minorities, including Christians, Ahmadiya, Sikhs, Hindus through draconian blasphemy laws, forced conversions and marriages and extra-judicial killings, has become a regular phenomenon in Pakistan. Holy and ancient sites of religious minorities in Pakistan have been attacked and vandalised," the official said.
Pakistan has also become the land of enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings and arbitrary detentions of political activists, students, journalists, human rights defenders and minorities, the Indian official said.
"Pakistan has the dubious distinction of being listed as one of the most dangerous countries for practice of journalism. 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 immunity," the Indian diplomat said.
Earlier, India said that as the world's largest democracy, it is committed to promotion and protection of human rights of its citizens, including through inclusive polity and society and sustainable development.
"We have undertaken targeted policy interventions to empower the vulnerable sections of our society in order to improve their access to education, housing, healthcare, social protection, sanitation, water supply etc. and to provide them good governance and opportunities for development," it said.
"In line with our commitment towards global promotion and protection of human rights, we have made a voluntary contribution of $400,000 to UN Trust Funds. We hope that this will ensure effective participation from SIDS and LDCs in the Council," it added.