Tharoor slams Pak for 'vituperative mudslinging' on Kashmir issue at IPU

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has hit out at Pakistan for raising the Kashmir issue at the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) assembly in Serbia, saying it is ironic that a state responsible for "infecting countless" cross-border terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir is trying to masquerade as the "champion of Kashmiris".

Tharoor said Pakistan is the only government in the world that provides a pension to an individual listed by the United Nations in the Al Qaeda sanctions list and it is absurd to hear fulminations about respect for human rights from such a state.

The Indian delegation was headed by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.

"The Indian delegation rebutted baseless allegations of the Pakistani delegation about Jammu and Kashmir at two different sessions," the Lok Sabha secretariat said in a statement and also shared videos of Tharoor's remarks.

Tharoor said the Parliament of India will not allow these malicious efforts to succeed.

"We expect better from parliamentarians then vituperative mudslingling," he said at the IPU's 141st assembly at Belgrade in Serbia being held from October 13-17.

He said Pakistan had raised an issue internal to India and extraneous to their discussions for narrow political gains.

The Indian delegation rejected outright and strongly condemned such references, Tharoor said.

"I am a member of Parliament from the leading opposition party in India and we will continue to use our Parliament to discuss and debate with our government on Kashmir and other issues. We will fight our own battles democratically and don't need or welcome interference from across the border," he said.

Asserting that Jammu and Kashmir is integral part of India, Tharoor said, "...it is ironic that a state which is responsible for infecting countless cross-border terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir is trying to masquerade as the champion of Kashmiris."

Tharoor said the statement from the Pakistani diplomat at the assembly is "indistinctly unhelpful."

"Pakistan is the only government in the world that provides a pension to an individual listed by the United Nations in the Al Qaeda sanctions list. Pakistan is home to 130 UN designated terrorists and 25 terrorists entities listed by the UN.

"It is frankly absurd to hear fulminations about respect for human rights from representative of such a state when terrorism is the worst possible destroyer of human rights," he said.

Tharoor said the Indian delegation hoped that the Pakistani delegation would refrain from misusing the forum again and in collective interests of the parliaments of the world focus on serious issues that are under discussion at the IPU assembly.

The Indian delegation comprised of MPs from across the party lines, including Tharoor, Kanimozhi Karunanidhi, Wansuk Syiem, Ram Kumar Verma and Sasmit Patra.



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