UNITED NATIONS - Pakistan on Saturday night hit back at India for criticizing Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech in the UN General Assembly, saying the Pakistani leader had only put a spotlight on New Delhi’s “indefensible actions” against the Kashmiris and its minorities across the country.

“It is obvious that India neither wants to face up to the truth about its abominable policies and actions, nor does it want others to see it,” Pakistani delegate Muhammad Zulqarnain told the 193-member Assembly while responding to an Indian representative, who described PM Khan’s well-reasoned address as “hate speech.”

“For an ideology seeped in ‘hatred’, the very mention of ‘hate speech’ was outrageous,” he said in his strongly-worded right of reply.

“True to the ideological progenitors, the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh),” Zulqarnain, a second secretary on the Pakistan Mission to the UN said, “The (Indian) statement betrayed a sense of conceited self-righteousness, symptomatic of the malady that has become the defining feature of the communal driven face of India.

In a rejoinder to Indian criticism, Pak envoy says PM Khan only highlighted Delhi’s ‘indefensible actions’ against Kashmiris

He called it a “crass attempt at self-glorification by those whose singular accomplishment has been to denude India of any ‘pretense’ to its so-called secular credentials.”

Citing the policy statement of MS Golwalkar, one of the founding fathers of the RSS, to turn India into a Hindu country, the Pakistani delegate said, “Today, this ideal of Hindu supremacy is being put into place with single-minded zealousness - with every act of the repugnant assault of cow vigilantes, with every gruesome mob lynching, with every forced conversion, the supremacist RSS ideology is on display even more brazenly.”

“Far from being a so-called ‘vibrant democracy’, this is a living hell for those perceived and treated as the ‘other’ in saffron India.”

“Tellingly,” he said, “those who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi in 1948 are busy killing the idea of India espoused by him.”

Zulqarnain accused India  of obfuscation, deception and diverting attention from ugly ground realities which was the most familiar page out of the Indian playbook, referring to India’s statement delivered by Vidisha Maitra, a first secretary in the Indian mission.

“A country that has for decades been engaged in state terrorism in occupied Jammu and Kashmir has the gall to accuse others of terrorism,” the Pakistani delegate said.

“A country whose serving naval officer, Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav, was caught red-handed for espionage, sabotage and terrorism has the gumption to cast the victim as the perpetrator”.

“A country which is in the iron grip of the fascist RSS, thrice banned in India for terror-related charges, has the audacity to point fingers at others.

If at all, India should seek answers from the perpetrators of the Samjotha terrorist attack, who were acquitted earlier this year”.

“India should seek answers from the killers of Pehlu Khan, who was killed, in cold blood, for transporting cattle by a violent cow vigilante mob in 2017. Unsurprisingly, all accused were absolved of charges.”

“India should seek answers from the masterminds of the Gujarat pogrom of 2002, whose political fortunes have bloomed while innocent victims suffer in pain and misery.”

“The common thread behind these and countless other incidents is that the victim has had the misfortunate of finding himself against the might of the all encompassing Hindutva onslaught.”

Zulqarnain said the Indian representative had deliberately avoided making any mention of the “complete and cruel” lockdown including a communication blackout in the occupied Kashmir.

“Neither did she mention the plight of the innocent Kashmiris, who for the last 55 days, have been forced to live without food and essential supplies; 55 days without information of the well-being of family and friends; 55 days of total darkness, an abiding fear of the unknown, with no end in sight,” he said.

“We were instead, treated to the fiction that the illegal Indian annexation of the occupied territory was meant to remove hindrances to the ‘development’ of the occupied territory – no doubt, a novel model of development where the relevant stakeholders are not ‘mainstreamed’ but are instead locked up, their voice muffled and their liberties taken away”.

“If indeed, the actions undertaken are so well-meaning to the Kashmiris, I ask the Indian representative why does the Indian state not allow the Kashmiri people to come out and express themselves? Why is India so afraid?”

“While Pakistan has nothing to hide,” he said, “does India have the moral courage to respond to the findings of the UN OHCHR (Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights) reports on occupied Jammu and Kashmir, documenting a litany of barbaric Indian repression in occupied Jammu and Kashmir?”

“If not, the dishonest Indian defence is nothing but a self-perpetuating farce,” the Pakistani delegate said.

“The reality is the dire human rights and humanitarian crisis in occupied Jammu and Kashmir and the denial of the fundamental right of self-determination pledged to the Kashmiris by the international community and enshrined in 11 UN Security Council resolutions.”

While exercising her right of reply to Prime Minister Khan’s speech, the Indian representative called Prime Minister Imran Khan’s “threat of unleashing nuclear devastation amounted to brinkmanship, not statesmanship”.

But the prime minister had made it clear he wasn’t making any threat while taking about the possibility of war amid tensions between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan, saying “It’s a fair worry. Where are we headed?”