UN chief applauds Pakistan, criticizes India for discriminating against Muslims

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres

New Delhi, Feb 19: A big blow to Prime Minister Narendra Modi efforts to invite foreign envoys to visit Jammu and Kashmir as United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has applauded Pakistan for its peace efforts and expressed concern for the Muslims in India.

UN chief criticised India for anti Citizenship Amendment Act and not adhering to the people’s voice of withdrawing the Act that is against the spirit of the Constitution.

Guterres in an interview to Pakistani newspaper Dawn, said that he was personally concerned about the rising discrimination against the minorities in India.

As Guterres concludes his four day visit to Pakistan on Wednesday, the UN chief commented on India’s Citizenship (Amendment) Act. The newspaper claimed that the UN chief said: “All the reports, including two by the UN High Commissioner, in the international media, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and recent fact-finding reports on Kashmir released in New Delhi, regarding torture, sexual abuse and incarceration of children as young as seven by the Indian military”, played an important role in “clarifying exactly what is happening” in Kashmir and “it is essential that these reports are taken seriously”.

The Dawn quoted Guterres as saying that there was a “risk of statelessness for two million Muslims excluded by the divisive Citizenship (Amendment) Act passed by the Indian Parliament.”

He visited Pakistan’s Kartarpur Corridor and praised Pakistan for opening “a symbol of interfaith harmony.”

Appreciating the Imran Khan government for its peace efforts, he said, “For 40 years, Pakistan has sheltered Afghan refugees. I urge the world to support host countries and show similar leadership in standing with the refugees. The country has stood in solidarity with the refugees from Afghanistan for 40 years, showing how generosity is not always proportional to wealth.”

Calling Pakistan as one of the most consistent and reliable contributors to the UN peacekeeping efforts around the world, he tweeted, “I am closely following vital peace efforts in Afghanistan to reduce violence, especially against civilians. By building regional consensus, Pakistan’s role in this process remains crucial.”

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