United Nations: India has said that Pakistan’s use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy is a “central problem” and the international community must unequivocally condemn terrorism and its perpetrators.

Addressing the 40th Session of the Human Rights Council on Thursday, Permanent Representative of India to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Rajiv Chander said, “Terrorism is the most fundamental violation of human rights and we overlook it at our own peril.”

He told the Council that the “central problem is cross-border terrorism and Pakistan’s use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy. This fact needs due recognition.”

Chander called for a UN-led consensus on zero tolerance on terrorism, saying the international community needs to unequivocally condemn terrorism and those who perpetrate it.

“We firmly believe that UN-led consensus on zero tolerance on terrorism is as much an international obligation as it is a commitment to our own people. We all need to unequivocally condemn terrorism and its perpetrators,? he said at the Interactive Dialogue with the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

On the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, the envoy said India’s views on the state have been made clear in the Council.
“The whole state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. Pakistan remains in illegal occupation of a part of our territory,” Chander said

Earlier, Pakistan’s Acting Permanent Representative Tahir Hussain Andrabi had made references to Kashmir in his statement to the Council.

Chander said India’s efforts towards protection and promotion of human rights are second to none.

“This is reflected in the Constitution of India that guarantees its citizens fundamental political and civil rights and provides for the progressive realisation and enforcement of economic, social and cultural rights,” he said.

The diplomat underscored that India is a secular state and safeguarding the rights of minorities forms an essential core of its polity.

“The Indian Constitution enshrines various provisions for the protection of rights and interests of the minorities. The State makes no distinction between caste, creed, colour or religion of a citizen,” he said.

Chander underlined that along with being the world’s largest democracy, Indian polity also weaves in immense diversity along with respect for tolerance and mutual understanding.

“An independent judiciary, free and vibrant media, and, a vocal civil society are all active in this regard within the legal framework of the State. National and State level Human Rights Commissions along with other specific Commissions continue to monitor complaints from minority communities regarding issues of discrimination and disadvantage faced by them,” he said.

The government has issued Communal Harmony Guidelines which lay down Standard Operating Procedures to deal with communal violence, the envoy added.