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UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has rejected India’s claim that Jammu and Kashmir was its integral part, saying the United Nations defines it as “disputed territory” and that it so printed on all the world body’s maps.

“The ‘final disposition’ of the State of Jammu and Kashmir is to be decided by the Kashmiri people through a fair and an impartial plebiscite held under UN auspices as stipulated in numerous resolutions of the Security Council,” Pakistani delegate Saima Saleem said at the United Nations on Wednesday in response to the claims by an Indian representative that Kashmir was an integral part of India, and that Pakistan should leave the areas ‘occupied’ by it.

The verbal India-Pakistan duel took place at the 66th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at which Pakistan’s Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari said, among other elements, that the illegal occupation of Kashmir by India has negatively affected the rights of women and children there.

“Women are being targeted by Indian Occupation forces that have used rape as a weapon of war and attacked women and children with pellet guns. We cannot be selective in where the standards of human rights apply,” Mazari told the delegates from around the world, many of them ministers, via video-link.

Reacting to the Pakistan’s minister’s remarks, the Indian representative, besides making claims on Kashmir, also accused Islamabad of failing to protect its minorities and allegedly being involved in terrorism. Exercising her right of reply to the Indian accusations, Ms Saleem, a counsellor at the Pakistan Mission to the UN, said it was in India where a reign of terror against its minorities was going on.

“The practitioners of the Hindutva ideology, who rule Indian today, have unrobed the mask of secularism to reveal the true face of Indian fascism,” she said, adding that the so-called “largest democracy” had transformed into a bastion of Hindutva hate, violence, terror, and Islamophobia.

“Since the fascist RSS-BJP government’s unilateral and illegal actions on 5 August 2019, India’s 900,000 occupation forces in occupied Kashmir – the ‘densest’ occupation in history – have escalated their oppression of 8 million Kashmiri men, women, and children in the world’s largest ‘open-air prison’,” the Pakistani delegate said.

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