India at UN tells Pakistan to ‘abandon dream’ of Kashmir

Pakistan denounces Sushma’s speech as ‘litany of falsehoods’

Agence France-Presse . United Nations

India’s foreign minister on Monday used her address at the UN General Assembly to accuse Pakistan of terrorism, warning that India will not give up control in the disputed territory of Kashmir.
Pakistan responded by calling Swaraj’s speech a ‘litany of falsehoods’ that distorted history, and denied its forces had aided the army base attack.
‘These allegations are designed principally to deflect global attention from the brutalities being perpetrated by India’s over half a million occupation force against innocent and unarmed Kashmiri children, women and men,’ said a statement by its foreign office released late Monday.
Tensions between the longtime rivals have spiked over a recent attack on an Indian army base in Kashmir that New Delhi has blamed on Pakistan-based militants.
‘Pakistan remains in denial. It persists in the belief that such attacks will enable it to obtain the territory it covets,’ foreign minister Sushma Swaraj told the assembly.
‘My firm advice to Pakistan is: abandon this dream. Let me state unequivocally that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and will always remain so.’
Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since the end of British rule in 1947. Both claim the disputed Himalayan territory in its entirety and have fought two wars over it.
The Indian army has blamed the latest attack on the Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad, which was also implicated in an audacious attack in January on an Indian air force base in Pathankot, in the northern state of Punjab, that left seven soldiers dead.
The foreign minister said it was time to isolate Pakistan over its alleged ties with terror groups.
‘In our midst, there are nations that still speak the language of terrorism, that nurture it, peddle it and export it,’ she said.
‘To shelter terrorists has become their calling card. We must identify these nations and hold them to account.’
‘Such countries should have no place in the comity of nations,’ she added.
Several rebel groups have fought an estimated 500,000 Indian forces deployed in Kashmir, demanding independence for the Muslim-majority region or its merger with Pakistan.

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