United Nations, Nov 2: India hit out at Pakistan's latest attempt on Wednesday to raise the Kashmir issue at the UN, accusing Islamabad of ruling the area under its occupation as a "virtual colony" while trying to grab territory through terrorism.
Islamabad "repeatedly indulges in the abuse of the concept of self-determination to bolster its agenda of territorial aggrandisement through terrorism against India," Mayank Joshi, a counsellor in India's UN Mission, said in reply to Pakistan bringing up Kashmir during a debate on Racism and Right of Peoples to Self-determination.
"We once again heard Pakistan's ritual propaganda on the right to self-determination. We reject in entirety the baseless allegations against India," he said.
During the debat in the General Assembly's committee that deals with social, humanitarian affairs, Joshi contrasted the record of Pakistan with that of India, "the world's largest democracy".
He asserted asserted that "free and fair elections are held regularly in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir meeting the aspiration of its people".
On the other hand, Pakistan's "own people have been deprived of their democratic rights for most of its history" and it "continues to illegally occupy a part of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir and rules it as a virtual colony", he said.
Taking up the theme of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent trenchant accusation that Pakistan is the "mothership of terrorism," Joshi said: "The truth is that thousands of innocent citizens of India, including women and children, continue to fall victim to the repeated inhuman terrorist attacks committed by proxies of the State of Pakistan in our region."
"Pakistan," he said, "would serve their people better if only they could introspect about the challenges faced by their society instead of setting sights on territories of their neighbours in flagrant violation of all international norms of behaviour".
On India's own record of fighting racism and intolerance, Joshi invoked "Mahatma Gandhi's tireless struggle against the crimes of racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia and other related intolerance".
Carrying on that tradition, India joins the international community's "fight to purge the world of racist, xenophobic and discriminatory practices and facilitate the legitimate right to self-determination for nations seeking freedom", he said.