Geneva: Asserting that Pakistan should be held "accountable for aiding and abetting terrorism", India on Tuesday said Islamabad continues to provide pensions to dreaded and listed terrorists and hosts them on its territory as its state policy.
Exercising its right to reply following Pakistan's remarks at the 47th Session of the United Nations Human Right Council (UNHRC), New Delhi highlighted the systematic persecution of minorities in Pakistan through draconian blasphemy laws, forced conversions and marriages and extrajudicial killings.
India's remarks come after Khalil Hashmi, permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN in Geneva, tried to raise Kashmir's issue at the interactive dialogue on the annual report of the High Commissioner.
Pawankumar Badhe, first Secretary, Indian Permanent Mission in Geneva, expressed regret that Pakistan has once again "misused this platform for making unfounded and irresponsible allegations against India".
"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," he said.
Pakistan, as its state policy, continues to provide pensions to dreaded and listed terrorists and hosts them on its territory, Badhe said, while stating that it is "high time" that Pakistan is held accountable for aiding and abetting terrorism.
He accused Islamabad of distracting the Council's attention from the "deplorable human rights situation in Pakistan".
Underlining that the plight of minorities in Pakistan is evident from their shrinking size, Badhe said: "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." He condemned the attack and vandalisation of ancient sites of religious minorities in Pakistan and said that Pakistan has also become the land of enforced disappearances, extra-judicial killings and arbitrary detentions of political activists, students, journalists, human rights defenders and minorities.
"Systemic persecution of minorities, including Christians, Ahmadiyyas, Sikhs, Hindus through draconian blasphemy laws, forced conversions and marriages and extrajudicial killings, has become a regular phenomenon in Pakistan," he added. Cornering Pakistan over the killings of journalists, New Delhi 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 impunity," it concluded.