UNITED NATIONS - India has escalated its rhetoric against Pakistan to a new level, branding it as a “terrorist State” and accusing it of carrying out “war crimes” against Indians through its “long-standing policy” of sponsoring terrorism, while reacting to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif tough speech in support of Kashmiri people UN-recognised right of self-determination.

Exercising India’s Right of Reply to what she called was Prime Minister Sharif’s “long tirade” about the situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir, Eenam Gambhir, a low level Indian official,  said “the worst violation of human rights is terrorism.”

“When practised as an instrument of State policy it is a war crime. What my country and our other neighbours are facing today is Pakistan’s long-standing policy of sponsoring terrorism, the consequences of which have spread well beyond our region,” she said.

Rejecting the Indian allegations that Pakistan was promoting terrorism in occupied Kashmir and elsewhere, a senior Pakistani diplomat said the Kashmiri people's uprising "was spontaneous and indigenous".

 But the Indian delegate said that India sees in Pakistan “a terrorist State” that channelises billions of dollars, much of it diverted from international aid, to training, financing and supporting terrorist groups as militant proxies against it neighbours.

In a reference to JeM chief Masood Azhar and Mumbai terror attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Ms Gambhir said terrorist entities and their leaders, including many designated by the UN, continue to roam the streets of Pakistan freely and operate with State support.

“With the approval of the authorities, many terrorist organisations raise funds openly in flagrant violation of Pakistan’s international obligations,” she said.

While Pakistan’s nuclear proliferation record is marked by “deception and deceit,” it talks about restraint, renunciation and peace. “Similar false promises it has made to us — the international community — on terrorism. Perhaps renunciation of lies and self-restraint on threats could be a good place for Pakistan to start,” Ms. Gambhir said.

She also criticised Nawaz Sharif for glorifying Hizb-ul-Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani, who was killed on July 8 by the Indian forces.

“Even today we have heard support from the Prime Minister of Pakistan for a self-acknowledged commander of a known terrorist organisation,” she said.

She claimed  Pakistan was a democracy deficit country and practises terrorism on its own people. “It extends support to extremist groups, suppresses minorities and women and denies basic human rights, including through draconian laws,” she noted.

Ms. Gambhir asserted India’s firm resolve to protect all its citizens from all acts of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. “We cannot and will not allow terrorism to prevail,” she said.

Ms. Gambhir reminded the UN that the trail of the most “horrifying” and “dastardly terror attack” of 9/11 led all the way to Abbottabad in Pakistan, where al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was hiding for years and was killed by US forces.

She pointed out that the land of Taxila, one of the greatest learning centres of ancient times, “is now host to the Ivy League of terrorism” and attracts aspirants and apprentices from all over the world.

“The effect of its toxic curriculum are felt across the globe,” she said, adding, that it was ironical that a country which had established itself as the global epicentre of terrorism, was preaching human rights and talks about the ostensible support for self-determination.

Ms. Gambhir said that shortly before Pakistan gave its “hypocritical sermons” in the world body, its envoy in New Delhi was summoned in the context of the most recent of the terror attacks in Uri that claimed 18 Indian lives. “That terrorist attack is part of a trail of continuous flow of terrorists trained and armed by our neighbour and tasked to carry out terrorist attacks in my country,” she said.

Nawaz Sharif raised the Kashmir issue with almost every world leader — including those from the US, UK, Japan and Turkey — on Wednesday and sought their intervention to resolve the matter.

In his response, Pakistan's delegate Muhammad Faisal said, "The Indian government has chosen to criticise the statement by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, which reflects the sentiments and aspirations of the oppressed people of Jammu and Kashmir, who have, for 70 years faced bullets, repression and the brutalities of illegal occupation."

"The dispute of Jammu and Kashmir cannot be wished away," the Pakistani diplomat said.  Pakistan, he said, would continue to stand by the people of Jammu and Kashmir and extend its full diplomatic and political support to their movement for freedom from Indian oppression.

"The cold-blooded murder of Burhan Wani sparked widespread and unprecedented protests across Kashmir, which was spontaneous and indigenous and was irrefutable evidence of the Kashmiri peoples rejection of Indian occupation," Faisal told the General Assembly. 

"But peaceful protesters were mercilessly fired upon, blinded and critically injured," he said. 

"Yet, the use of brutal force cannot extinguish their burning aspiration. Ever day young and old come, defying the curfew and dodging the bullets, only to assert their right to determine their own destiny.

"The Right to self-determination has been promised to them by the international community through a series of Security Council resolutions.  Although this promise has yet to be realised, seven decades later, time has not weakened their resolve, nor their aspirations.  In fact, it remains active and vibrant in the hearts of the Kashmiris.”

The Pakistani diplomat said that the Kashmiri people  looked towards the international community, especially the members of the UN Security Council, to deliver on the pledge to hold a free, fair and impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices, to enable them to decide their future, a democratic and legal right of the Kashmiri people.