Strongly defending the government's decision to reorganize Jammu & Kashmir state and the temporary restrictions placed in Kashmir last year, India's representative Vikas Swarup in Geneva, said, "Despite Pakistan's best efforts -- over decades -- to destabilize the state through externally-instigated terror and a campaign of canards and untruth, the situation on the ground is quite normal."
Most temporary restrictions, he said, were imposed solely to ensure the safety of the people from Pakistani trained terrorist attacks and have already been removed.
Reiterating India's position that Jammu and Kashmir "was, is and shall forever remain an integral part of India," Swarup said, the "transformative changes wrought by our Parliament" were meant to strengthen the integration of the state and "give fullest play to representative government from the grassroots level upward."
He argued that the decision was "intended to ensure the extension of all progressive legislations passed for the entire country to cover this region, and to resume the pace of socio-economic development in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir."
Swarup asserted that the measures of the government are already showing positive results. Giving details about the situation in Kashmir, he said, political processes have resumed, telecom facilities have been largely restored, developmental activities are being undertaken at a rapid pace and educational institutions have reopened. Hospitals, clinics and pharmacies are well-stocked and staffing is at full capacity, he added.
All of it has been achieved "despite Pakistan's frenetic attempts to promote both violence within our territory --with an 81% increase in infiltration attempts since last August-- and disinformation outside."
Describing terrorism as a global challenge and Pakistan as an epicenter of global terrorism, Swarup said, "Terrorism is the most pernicious violation of a fundamental human right, that is, the right to life."
As a nation that has suffered for decades from cross-border terrorism, India calls for decisive action against those who direct, control, fund, abet or shelter terrorists, he said.
Taking a dig at Pakistan's necessity "to offer advice and warnings" about the violence in Delhi, Swarup paraphrased poet Robert Burns, saying, "someone should give them the power to see themselves as others see them. Pakistan would do well to look to its own house and introspect about the condition of its people, especially its minorities."
India, he told the Pakistani delegation at the council, is a nation where democracy, including the right to protest, is vibrantly and noisily celebrated every day, where diversity has been a way of life since times immemorial and where the dignity of every human is protected by a robust constitutional framework.
"We take pride in the fact that our Constitution begins by first of all safeguarding the rights of all -- citizen and foreigner alike. This is entirely in the spirit of our civilization and our democracy, where we do not distinguish between the divinity inherent in all humanity," he pointed out.