By Arul Louis
United Nations, Sep 26 (IANS) The Indian delegate at the United Nations General Assembly session on Friday walked out in protest when Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan began attacking India in his speech at the high-level meeting.
First Secretary Mijito Vinito, who was sitting on the second seat in the first row of the Assembly chamber, stood up and left as soon as Khan turned on India by focusing on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
In a tweet, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, T.S. Tirumurti decried Khan’s attacks as “warmongering and obfuscation”.
Khan’s pre-recorded speech was screened at the General Assembly chamber during the annual meeting stymied this year by the Covid-19 precautions.
A new element tucked into Khan’s 34-minute speech, more than a third of which was devoted to India, was a call for the Security Council to send its peacekeeping force to Kashmir by drawing a parallel to East Timor, now known as Timor-Leste.
“The Security Council must prevent a disaster conflict (in Kashmir) and secure the implementation of its own resolutions, as it did in the case of East Timor,” Khan said.
The Security Council authorised international intervention and sent peacekeepers in the aftermath of the Indonesian invasion of the former Portuguese colony, but a parallel would require such a force to clear Pakistanis in Kashmir in defiance of its resolution demanding their withdrawal.
Khan also declared a thinly veiled support for the attacks on India by the militants.
“The government and the people of Pakistan are committed to standing by and supporting the Kashmiri brothers and sisters in their legitimate struggle for self-determination,” he said.
To preemptively deny the involvement in any Pakistan-sponsored attacks on India, Khan said, “We have consistently sensitised the world community about a false flag operation.”
Khan alleged, “India is playing a dangerous game of upping the ante against Pakistan in a nuclearised environment.”
In his tweet, Tirumurti said, “PM of Pakistan’s statement a new diplomatic low at 75th UN General Assembly. Another litany of vicious falsehood, personal attacks, warmongering and obfuscation of Pakistan’s persecution of its own minorities and of its cross-border terrorism. Befitting Right of Reply awaits.”
At the start of his speech with religious platitudes, Khan declared his commitment to an even more stringent theocratic state before accusing India of moving away from secularism.
“We envisage Naya Pakistan to be modelled on the principles of the state of Medina, established by the Holy Prophet Mohammed,” he declared.
Later, the premier of the Islamic republic, which constitutionally denies full citizenship rights to non-Muslims as well as Muslims of the Ahmadiyya sect, asserted that India is giving up on the secularism of Mahatma Gandhi and is moving towards a “Hindutva” state.
“The secularism of Gandhi and Nehru has been replaced by the dream of creating a Hindu Rashtra,” he asserted.
Khan’s attacks on the RSS is to try to build up support for his cause, which has so far seen only Turkish support, by linking it to Nazism as his attacks on India have not found any backing.
Khan was silent on the persecution of the Uighur minority in China, Pakistan’s patron, and Beijing’s verified creation of camps for internment of the Muslim minority and campaign to eradicate their cultural and religious identity.
But he claimed that according to “reports”, there were camps in India filled with Muslims.
He also accused India of changing the demography of Kashmir and suppressing its cultural identity.
He invoked the Security Council resolutions on Kashmir and said the Council should enforce them.
However, the main resolution on Kashmir — No. 47 — demands that Pakistan should withdraw its troops and personnel from Kashmir.
(Arul Louis can be reached at email@example.com and followed on Twitter at @arulouis)