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India hits back at ‘allegations’

Gambhir also takes dig at Qureshi’s emphasis on a “new Pakistan” under Khan

United Nations: India on Sunday strongly hit back at Pakistan for the “preposterous allegation” its Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi made at the UN that terrorists behind the 2014 attack on a Peshawar school were “supported” by India, saying the “despicable insinuation” dishonours the memory of the children killed in the assault.

Indian diplomat from the country’s Permanent Mission to the UN, Eenam Gambhir, exercised India’s Right of Reply and rejected Qureshi’s baseless allegation made during his General Assembly address last night.

“Among the most outrageous was the preposterous allegation relating to the horrific terror attack on a Peshawar school four years ago,” Gambhir said.

She reminded the new Pakistan government under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, that there was an outpouring of sorrow and pain in India following the massacre of children in 2014.

She said both Houses of India’s Parliament had expressed solidarity while paying respects to those killed.

“Schools all over India had observed two minutes of silence in their memory. The despicable insinuation made by the foreign minister of Pakistan dishonours the memory of the innocent lives lost to terrorists that day,” Gambhir said.

She said the allegation was a “desperate attempt” to look away from the monster of terror Pakistan has created in its quest to destabilise its neighbours and covet their territory.

Qureshi had said that Pakistan will never forget the mass murder of more than 150 children in the Peshawar school, the Mastung attack and many others that “have links with terrorists supported by India.”

The Peshawar attack was carried out by heavily-armed 8-10 Taliban suicide bombers who stormed the army-run school and took several hostages. The attackers wearing paramilitary Frontier Corps uniforms had entered the school and started indiscriminate firing.

Gambhir also took a dig at Qureshi’s emphasis on a “new Pakistan” under Khan, saying while the Indian delegation had come to listen to Pakistan’s “new” foreign minister outline the vision of a new Pakistan, “what we heard is a ‘New Pakistan’ cast in the mould of old.”

Gambhir tore into Pakistan’s claim that it has turned the tide against terrorism, saying a fact-check of this claim will give a different picture.

She asked if Pakistan can deny the fact that it is the “host and patron” of 132 of the UN-designated terrorists and 22 terrorist entities listed under the UN Security Council Sanctions regimes.

“Will Pakistan deny that the UN-designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed enjoys a free run inside Pakistan and spews venom and sets up candidates for electoral offices,” she said.

With Qureshi again raking up the Kashmir issue, Gambhir asserted that India is making it clear to the “new government” of Pakistan that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is and will remain an integral part of India.

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