India has slammed Pakistan for its "politically-motivated" and "venomous" remarks that referred to Jammu and Kashmir during a Security Council debate on children and armed conflict, saying those who are soaked in bigotry will find it hard to understand a pluralistic society.
Counsellor in India's Permanent Mission to the UN Ashish Sharma's sharp response came at the UN Security Council open debate on Wednesday on Children and Armed Conflict, held under UK’s presidency for the month, after Pakistan’s UN envoy Munir Akram referred to Jammu and Kashmir in his statement.
Akram said that it was an anomaly that the latest report of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Children and Armed Conflict does not include India.
"Let me also respond to the politically-motivated and frivolous remarks made by one delegation against my country. I will not dignify their venomous comments on India by responding to those, since those who are soaked in bigotry will find it hard to understand a pluralistic society," Sharma said.
Sharma said India dismisses and condemns “these frivolous remarks" with the contempt that they deserve.
"It is nothing but an attempt to divert the attention of the Council from grave violations against children that continues to be committed in Pakistan, as highlighted in the Secretary General's report,” Sharma said.
He asserted that the entire Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh “were, are and always will be an integral and inalienable part of India, irrespective of what the representative of Pakistan believes or wishes." In his statement, Sharma also voiced concern over the “dangerous and worrying trend” in global terrorism of an increase in the number of children being recruited and involved in terrorism-related activities.
"There is a need for a coordinated approach to the child protection agenda and counter terrorism. Member States need to demonstrate greater political will to hold the perpetrators of terrorism and their sponsors to account, to fulfil Council’s child protection obligations," he said.
He called for ending impunity for all actors responsible for inciting and perpetrating grave violations against children. "There must be greater accountability and sincere efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice by governments from whose territory such entities operate.” Guterres removed India from his 2023 report on Children and Armed Conflict, citing measures taken by the Indian government to "better protect children." "In view of the measures taken by the Government to better protect children, India has been removed from the report in 2023,” Guterres writes in the report.
Guterres said that in his report last year, he had welcomed the engagement of the Government of India with his Special Representative and noted that that engagement may lead to the removal of India as a situation of concern.
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