New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday slammed Pakistan for "mischievously" dragging party leader Rahul Gandhi's name in its letter to the United Nations in connection with Jammu and Kashmir.
The Congress has described it as an attempt by Imran Khan-led PTI government in Pakistan to justify its "pack of lies".
In an official statement, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, "Congress has noticed reports citing an alleged petition moved by Pakistani Government to United Nations on Jammu and Kashmir, wherein name of Rahul Gandhi has been mischievously dragged to justify the pack of lies and deliberate misinformation being spread by Pakistan."
Asserting that Jammu and Kashmir was, is and shall always remain an integral part of India, Surjewala said, "No amount of diabolical deception by Pakistan shall change this irrevocable truth."
The Congress leader demanded answers from Pakistan for its "unpardonable" and "inhumane" violations of human rights in PoK-Gilgit-Hunza-Baltistan.
"Pakistan should answer to the world about unpardonable and inhumane violations of human rights in PoK-Gilgit-Hunza-Baltistan. Pakistan also owes an explanation for designed persecution of over 70 million Mohajirs and killing of over 25,000 by Pakistani Forces," the Congress leader said.
Talking about the human rights violations in Balochistan, Surjewala said, "Not only this, human rights violations in Balochistan, including thousands, who have gone missing as also mass graves being uncovered by different agencies have never been answered."
"The entire world witnessed the horrific murder of 128 innocents on July 13, 2018, during an election rally by Balochistan Awami Movement. The gross abuse of human rights of Pashtun people in the tribal regions by the Pakistani Army as also the systematic persecution and prosecution of Ahmadiyya Religious community is yet to be answered by Pakistan," he added.
The Congress leader said almost every terrorist organisation thrives in Pakistan under political and military patronage.
"Let the world be reminded again that almost every terrorist organisation thrives in Pakistan under political and military patronage - be it Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad, Hizbul Mujahedeen, Al-Queda or Taliban and its multiple offshoots," he said.
"We urge that Pakistan should answer these issues, both internally to its people as also to the international community, instead of raising the fake Kashmir bogey," Surjewala said.
His statement came moments after Rahul Gandhi tweeted that Kashmir is India's internal issue and the neighbouring country has no right to interfere in it.
Gandhi, in a series of tweets, said he disagrees with the government on many issues but made it clear that aspects related to Jammu and Kashmir are internal for New Delhi.
"I disagree with this Government on many issues. But, let me make this absolutely clear: Kashmir is India's internal issue and there is no room for Pakistan or any other foreign country to interfere in it," Rahul said in a series of tweets.
"There is violence in Jammu and Kashmir. There is violence because it is instigated and supported by Pakistan which is known to be the prime supporter of terrorism across the world," Gandhi wrote in another tweet.
Rahul Gandhi's reaction comes after Pakistani Minister for Human Rights, Shireen Mazari, on Tuesday said she has a written a letter to 18 UN Special Procedures mandate on Kashmir issue. In her letter, Mazari has claimed that Rahul Gandhi has noted that people are dying in Jammu Kashmir.
Mazari in her letter, which is also posted on her Twitter, to the UN body quoted Gandhi. " ...acts of violence have even been acknowledged by mainstream politicians, such as the Leader of the Congress Party, Mr Rahul Gandhi who has noted, "people dying" in Jammu and Kashmir, in light of events "going very wrong there"," she wrote.
Last week, Gandhi was sent back from Srinagar airport when he reached there along with a delegation of opposition leaders to take stock of the situation after the abrogation of article 370 which provided special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
The centre revoked Article 370 of the Constitution earlier in August and reorganized the region into two Union Territories - Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
Communication services were suspended post the move and curbs were placed on civilian movement with heavy security manning every nook and corner.
While many parties backed the centre on the move, Congress opposed it tooth and nail, barring some leaders like Jyotiraditya Scindia and Bhupinder Singh Hooda who voiced support for the decision.
At present, relaxations have been provided bringing relief to residents. Phone services and internet have been restored partially and life in the region is limping back to normalcy with reopening of schools and other institutions.
Pakistan has made desperate attempts to internationalise the issue but ended up being isolated at every forum with nations acknowledging Jammu and Kashmir to be New Delhi's internal matter.