New Delhi: Flustered over India’s stringent attack on Pakistan for sponsoring cross-border terrorism, Islamabad on Sunday yet again resorted to its habit of putting false allegations, accusing the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) of promoting fascism and terrorism in its branches.

“The breeding ground of terrorism in our region is the RSS centres of Fascism. The claims of religious superiority are perpetrated through straight patronage all across India,” Pakistani envoy Saad Warraich said before the UNGA.

“For a country when members from India’s minority including Christians and Muslims are publicly lynched at the hands of Hindu elites, where perpetrators of Samjhauta terrorist attack receive state patronage, where an unabashed Hindu extremist Yogi Adityanath who openly advocates religious superiority of the Hindus, serves as the face of the largest Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, where rights to citizenship tom Bengalis and Assam is being arbitrarily rescinded and who have suddenly been made stateless and have been called termites by a prominent Indian leader, where churches and mosques are torched is surely not qualified to give sermons to others,” he added.

The baseless allegations made by an exasperated Pakistan at the UN General Assembly come after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj launched a blistering attack on Pakistan explaining why New Delhi decided to cancel talks with Islamabad, dismissing the latter’s claims that India is trying to sabotage the talks as a “lie”.

In a fiery speech before the UNGA, Swaraj lambasted Pakistan, accusing it of being an “expert in trying to mask malevolence with verbal duplicity”.

She asked world leaders how can talks can be pursued in the midst of “terrorist bloodshed” with a nation that “glorifies killers.”

“We are accused of sabotaging the process of talks. This is a complete lie. We believe that talks are the only rational means to resolve the most complex of disputes. Talks with Pakistan have begun many times. If they stopped, it was only because of Pakistan’s behaviour,” she said in her address to the General Debate of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had said that Pakistan was to talk about all issues with India but New Delhi called off the dialogue, preferring “politics over peace”.

India had called off the meeting, citing the brutal killings of three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir and Islamabad releasing postage stamps “glorifying” Kashmiri militant Burhan Wani.

Qureshi went on to allege that  terrorists behind the 2014 Peshawar school attack were “supported” by India. He 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.”

Hitting back, Eenam Gambhir, First Secretary in the Permanent Mission of India to the UN, saying the “despicable insinuation” dishonours the memory of the children killed in the assault. She said Pakistan is the “host and patron” of 132 of the UN-designated terrorists and that the minister’s speech was cast in “the mold of the old”.

Rejecting Qureshi’s allegations that New Delhi orchestrated the 2014 Peshawar school attack, Eenam said, “Amongst the most outrageous was the preposterous allegation relating to the horrifying terror attack on Peshawar school four ago. Let me recollect, for Pak new govt, the outpouring of sorrow and pain in India that followed massacre of innocent children in ’14.”

“India’s Parliament had expressed solidarity while paying respect to the memory of those killed. Schools all over India had observed two minutes of silence in their memory,” she added.

“Can Pakistan deny the fact that it is the host and patron of 132 of the UN designated terrorists and 22 terrorist entities sanctioned under the 1267 and 1988 UN Security Council sanctions regimes as of today?” she asked.

Earlier, Qureshi also said that if India ventures across the Line of Control, or acts upon its doctrine of “limited” war against Pakistan, “it will evoke a strong and matching response.”

Describing Pakistan as a victim of terrorism, Qureshi said his country wanted to sit with India to discuss all issues, including terrorism, that have created violence in cities and towns, and have led to tens of thousands of casualties.
Pakistan also brought up the issue of Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian national who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in April last year on charges of espionage and terrorism.

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.

India also ripped through efforts of the ‘New Pakistan’ to champion human rights.

“This is vintage verbal duplicity,” Gambhir said, citing the example of Princeton economic professor Atif Mian.

UN, India to Step up Cooperation in Counter-Terrorism, Terror Financing: UN Chief

India is an “important partner” of the United Nations in countering terrorism and preventing violent extremism, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said, and there are plans to step up cooperation between the two on strengthening capacity in combating terror financing.

Guterres, who will begin a three-day visit to India on Monday, said the planning and implementation of acts of terrorism transcend borders and it is the responsibility of all the States to take action to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism.

“The threat of radicalisation, violent extremism, and terrorism continues to persist and even grow in many parts of the world. Modern-day terrorists are savvy in both technology and social media, successfully exploiting contemporary tools to propagate the narrative of hate and violence to recruit young people and raise funds,” Guterres told PTI in an email interview.