India, Sept. 21 — In a stinging rejoinder to an Op-Ed by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Indian ambassador to the US Harsh Vardhan Shringla wrote in the New York Times Friday that the Pakistani leader is free to ruin his own country’s economy but he should not be allowed to inflict the same fate on Kashmir and, above all, he must deliver on uprooting terrorism.
Pointing to the dire state of the Pakistani economy and the 22nd IMF bailout package, the ambassador wrote, “Mr Khan has, of course, every right to run his own economy into the ground. But his determination to inflict similar damage on the province of a neighbouring country must be challenged by the international community.“
Shringla also called out Khan and his officials for “painting an apocalyptic picture of India’s reorganization of its province of Jammu and Kashmir” and demanding the world’s attention with the threat of violence and nuclear war.
He also pointed to the poor treatment of minorities in Pakistan as it seeks to raise the issue of human rights in Kashmir. “When Pakistan was created, its population was 23 percent minorities. This is now down to 3 percent, a figure that speaks for itself.“
In an earlier Op-Ed in NYT, Khan had raised the spectre of a nuclear war between the two nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours if differences between them – chiefly Kashmir – were not resolved through third-party mediation because, he claimed, India had repeatedly rebuffed his offers of talks.
Shringla wrote that while Khan claims that he offered to work for peace, progress and prosperity with India, “What he does not say is that the assembly line of terrorists that is a major industry of his country continues without pause.” And he went on to cite the Mumbai and Pulwama attacks whose perpetrators have been “shielded” by Pakistan or allowed to operate freely despite being proscribed by the UN,
The Indian ambassador also explained the change in the constitutional status of Kashmir, and need for it. “The provision, Article 370 of the Constitution, prevented the Indian government from having any say in the affairs of Jammu and Kashmir except in matters of defense, finance, foreign affairs and communications. This contributed to the province’s struggles: While the rest of India experienced strong social and economic development, Jammu and Kashmir lagged in terms of economic growth, employment, fighting corruption, gender equality, literacy and many other indictors.“
In conclusion, he wrote, “Prime Minister Khan needs to wake up and smell the tea. Development will happen, progress will be visible, prosperity will take root and terrorism will fail.”
Source from HT media