A top Indian diplomat told the United Nations Human Rights Council that “killing field for minorities” Pakistan is “hookwink[ing]” the world by delisting thousands of known terrorists from its watch lists, Indian media reported Monday.
First Secretary to the United Nations in Geneva Pawan Badhe argued during a meeting at the Council’s headquarters in Geneva on Friday — the same day Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan repeatedly disparaged India as a “Nazi” state before the United Nations General Assembly — that Pakistan permitted jihadists to build “full-scale training camps” in its territory and offers terrorists “safe harbor.”
Badhe spoke at a meeting for general discussion on global human rights matters. His statement, Indian media noted, may affect Pakistan’s position at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental organization dedicated to combatting, among other illegal behavior, the financing of terrorism. The FATF lists Pakistan as a nation under “increased monitoring,” meaning it is at high risk for dangerous financial activity and encouraged to cooperate with the organization to curb the free flow of cash to terrorist organizations. The listing prevents it from accessing some global financial institutions until it can properly assure terrorists will not be able to use them.
According to DNA India, the FATF will review Pakistan’s performance in fighting terrorist financing in October.
“Full-scale training camps and launchpads of terrorists are being escalated in Pakistan Occupied parts of Indian Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh at great expense for sustaining cross border terrorism against India,” Badhe told the United Nations. Kashmir is a disputed territory on the Pakistani-Indian border; Ladakh is a region on the border between India and China, where violence erupted between the two nations’ militaries on several occasions this summer.
“It’s not without reason that Pakistan remains a safe harbor for terrorists. While the world is busy combatting Covid-19 [Chinese coronavirus] pandemic, Pakistan hoodwinks the world to allow delisting more than 4,000 proscribed terrorists to sustain its terror ecosystem,” Badhe said.
The 4,000 alleged terrorists Badhe cited are individuals the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has identified as terrorists and requested that Pakistan act against, given their ties to that country. In May, the government of Imran Khan told the UNSC that it would not act against these individuals because the agency had given Islamabad “insufficient information” on them. Khan’s government deleted the thousands of people from its domestic terror watch list, essentially granting them freedom from heightened law enforcement monitoring.
Among Pawan’s other complaints about Pakistan were that the nation had become a “minefield for journalists and human rights defenders” and that the Islamist nation routinely violates the rights of religious minorities.
“Fate of religious and ethnic minorities is well known when beheading is the only option in Pakistan in exchange for the freedom of religion,” Pawan said.
Pakistan allows for the use of the death penalty in cases of “blasphemy” against Islam — specifically in cases where Muhammad or the Quran are the alleged targets. The nation has never executed someone on death row for blasphemy, but Islamist mobs do often lynch people based on rumors that they spoke ill of the Quran.
India, however, also faces a lynching crisis. “Cow vigilantism,” a term for Hindu radicals who use violence against those rumored to eat beef, has become a growing concern under Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The U.S. State Department has expressed concern to India regarding its lack of action in the face of Hindu nationalist violence.
In his speech to the General Assembly, Khan mentioned “cow vigilantism” as a grave threat to global human rights. He equated India to Nazi Germany on several occasions and accused India of “state-sponsored Islamophobia.” Khan also called for a global day against Islamophobia — an idea first introduced in the General Assembly speech by Islamist President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey — and the global criminalization of blasphemy.
“We stress that willful provocations and incitement to hate and violence must be universally outlawed,” Khan said on behalf of Pakistan. “This Assembly should declare an ‘International Day to Combat Islamophobia’ and build a resilient coalition to fight this scourge — scourge that splits humanity.”
The Indian representative to the U.N. General Assembly present in New York walked out in the middle of Khan’s speech. India’s permanent representative to the U.N., T S Tirumurti, called the speech a “new diplomatic low.”
Accusations against Khan for supporting jihad follow years of bizarre statements from the prime minister that appear to belie a sympathy for radical Islam. At his 2019 General Assembly speech, Khan asserted, “there is no radical Islam. There is only one Islam.” More recently, in June, Khan lamented the death of Osama bin Laden.
“I don’t think there’s a country which supported the war on terror and had to face embarrassment for it. Pakistan was also openly blamed for U.S.’ failure in Afghanistan,” Khan said. “For Pakistanis across the globe, it was an embarrassing moment when the Americans came and killed Osama bin Laden at Abbottabad … martyred him.”
President Donald Trump announced in 2018 that he would cut billions in foreign aid to Pakistan, in part a response to its government refusing to act against jihadist threats.
“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”
Since then, the U.S. has sent at least $125 million to Pakistan for aircraft technical support but not renewed the billions guaranteed during the Obama administration.