After UN, India and Pakistan resume war of words at Commonwealth meet

Khan delivered his maiden speech at the 74th UN General Debate on Friday


New Delhi, September 29:

India strongly criticised on Saturday Pakistan’s stand on the Kashmir issue as “propaganda” at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Uganda and said military rule is the tradition of Islamabad, according to an official statement.

The Pakistani delegation raised the heavy presence of security forces in the Valley at the 64th meeting of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association in Kampala, which the Indian side countered.

The Indian delegation, which included MPs Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Roopa Ganguly and L. Hanumanthaiah, said the tradition of military rule is prevalent in Pakistan and the country has been under such rule for 33 years, according to a statement issued by the Lok Sabha Secretariat.

“Pakistani propaganda was strongly opposed by Roopa Ganguly MP and other Members of Indian Parliamentary Delegation,” it said.

India had strongly hit back at Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s rant at the UN General Assembly, saying its citizens did not need anyone else to speak on their behalf and “least of all those who have built an industry of terrorism from the ideology of hate.”

Khan delivered his maiden speech at the 74th UN General Debate on Friday and in his almost 50-minute address, devoted half of his time to India and Kashmir, drumming up hysteria over nuclear war.

India exercised its right of reply to the statement made by Khan later on Friday and fielded its newest diplomat at its mission at the UN to fend off the allegations made by former Pakistan cricket captain.

“Every word spoken from the podium of this august Assembly, it is believed, carries the weight of history. Unfortunately, what we heard today from Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan was a callous portrayal of the world in binary terms. Us vs Them; Rich vs Poor; North vs South; Developed Vs Developing; Muslims vs Others. A script that fosters divisiveness at the United Nations. Attempts to sharpen differences and stir up hatred, are simply put—’hate speech’,” First Secretary in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN Vidisha Maitra said.

The Indian delegation in the Commonwealth meet, led by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, is taking part in the conference which will conclude on Sunday.

The presiding officers and secretaries of state legislatures, who are members of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, are participating in the conference.

Earlier this month, Pakistan also raised the Kashmir issue during the South Asian Speakers’ Summit in the Maldives. But it was rejected in the Male declaration after India’s strong opposition.


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