India to protest Pakistan claims on terror at U.N.

It will approach the Security Council chief on false claims levelled by Islamabad

Updated - August 26, 2020 02:06 am IST

Published - August 26, 2020 01:32 am IST - NEW DELHI

The U.N. Security Council members during a virtual debate on terrorism on August 24, 2020. Photo: U.N. Web TV

The U.N. Security Council members during a virtual debate on terrorism on August 24, 2020. Photo: U.N. Web TV

India will approach the U.N. Security Council President to bring to his notice a series of false claims levelled by Pakistan on terrorism, in one of the strongest responses by the Indian permanent mission so far, sources here said.

The note will also include the fact that Pakistan’s U.N. Permanent Representative Munir Akram claimed to have addressed a UNSC debate on terrorism held on Monday, which was open only for Ambassadors of the 15 Security Council members, which don’t include Pakistan.

Editorial | Back and forth: On Pakistan's moves to tackle terrorism

“We fail to comprehend where exactly did the Permanent Representative of Pakistan make his statement since the Security Council Session today was not open to non-members of the Security Council,” the Indian mission at the U.N. said in a statement posted as a series of tweets on Tuesday.

Earlier Pakistan’s mission to the U.N. had released a note it claimed was a “Statement by Ambassador Munir Akram, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, at the Open Debate of the Security Council on the Report of the Secretary-General on the Threats to International Peace and Security posed by Terrorism Actions” held on August 24.

However, the meeting was only open to the five permanent and 10 non-permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, officials said. A video on the U.N. website of the event , that lasted about two hours also confirms this.

Also read | Pakistan puts Dawood Ibrahim, Masood Azhar, Hafiz Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi on terror list

India is lodging its protest formally with the Indonesian Ambassador to the U.N. Dian Triansyah Djani, who chaired the UNSC meeting on terrorism, to discuss the latest report on Al Qaeda and ISIL (Islamic State) operations. These reports are provided every six months by the U.N. Secretary General.

This is not the first time Pakistan has tried to make allegations against India on the issue of terrorism. However, officials say they see a “pattern” in Pakistan’s recent statements, with a view to targeting India ahead of January 2021, when India will join as a non-permanent member for a two year term at the U.N. Security Council.

In addition, Pakistan, that has been grey listed at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) , is also trying to build a case given that India will face its routine scrutiny or “Mutual Evaluation Report” (MER) on terrorism financing and money laundering issues at FATF beginning February 2021, with a plenary discussion in October 2020. As a result, officials told The Hindu, it is increasingly necessary to call out “falsehoods and inaccuracies” in each Pakistani statement, given the larger repercussions.

Also read | Pakistan denies Dawood Ibrahim’s presence in its territory

In his statement, Mr. Akram is quoted as saying that Pakistan faced “four types of terrorism”, including what he called Indian sponsorship of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) based in Afghanistan, mercenaries he claimed were directed by “Indian officials” in Balochistan with a reference to the Kulbhushan Jadhav case , “Hindutva terrorism”, and what he called “state terrorism” in Jammu and Kashmir.

Rejecting each of the contentions among what it called Pakistan’s “five big lies”, the Indian mission said, “A lie repeated a hundred times will not become truth. The biggest sponsor of cross-border terrorism against India now tries to masquerade itself as a victim of terrorism by India!”.

Referring to Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s own statement made in the U.S. last year that referred to the presence of “40,000-50,000” terrorists inside Pakistan , as well as the UNSC monitoring team on ISIL and Al Qaeda’s report of May 2020 that about 6,500 Pakistani terrorists operate in Afghanistan , the Indian mission also said that Pakistan’s accusations against India were “laughable” and preposterous”.

In particular, the Indian mission called out the Mr. Akram’s statement that Pakistan has submitted the names of four Indians , “Angara Appaji, Gobinda Patnaik, Ajoy Mistry and Venumadhav Dongra” as handlers of the TTP for designation in the 1267 UNSC Sanctions list. However, two of the names have already been rejected by the Security Council, and a decision on the other two is pending this month.

“The 1267 Sanctions list is public, and the world can see none of these individuals are in it. The 1267 Committee works on the basis of evidence, and not random accusations thrown in to divert their time and attention,” read the Indian mission’s statement.

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