In an address before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Tuesday, Secretary (East) in the External Affairs Ministry Vijay Thakur Singh strongly defended the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.
Vijay asserted that the decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, was taken in keeping with parliamentary procedures in order to extend progressive measures such as the right to information, education and work to the residents of the state.
Condemning those who "abet, finance and support terrorism," Vijay said the international community must work together in the fight against terrorism.
Here are the key takeaways from her speech:
'Within framework of Constitution'
Vijay asserted that the abrogation of Article 370 was carried out in accordance with constitutional procedures, in the interest of extending progressive legislations and welfare schemes to the state.
"The government is taking affirmative actions to promote socio-economic equality and justice for the underprivileged sections of society in the spirit of its motto of "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas” – which means "we will carry everyone with us and leave no one behind."
"The recent legislative measures taken by India within the framework of its Constitution will ensure that these progressive measures will also be fully applicable to our citizens in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Longstanding discrimination against refugees and under privileged sections will end. These decisions were taken by our Parliament after a full debate that was televised and enjoyed widespread support," she said.
'Precautions necessary for safety, security'
She also defended the restrictions imposed in the state after the abrogation of Article 370, saying that precautionary measures were necessary to combat threats of terrorism emanating from across the border. She added that restrictions were slowly being eased and that the administration was working towards ensuring supply of basic services and normal functioning of institutions.
"Despite challenging circumstances, Jammu and Kashmir’s Civil Administration is ensuring basic services, essential supplies, normal functioning of institutions, mobility and nearly full connectivity. Democratic processes have been initiated. Restrictions are being eased continuously. Temporary preventive and precautionary measures were necessitated to ensure safety and security of our citizens in the face of credible threats of cross-border terrorism," Vijay told the Council.
'Terrorism worst violation of human rights'
India also strongly condemned the spread of terrorism, which it said, was endangering the right to life and security of people globally. In a veiled attack on Pakistan, Vijay said that those who abet, finance and support terrorism in any form on territory under their control are the worst violators of human rights.
Adding that the India was among the countries who had suffered due to State-sponsored terrorism, Vijay called upon the international community to take collective action against terrorism and its sponsors.
"The world, in particular India, has suffered greatly on account of the activities by practitioners of State-sponsored terrorism and it is time to collectively take decisive and firm action against terror groups and their abettors who threaten the fundamental human right to life. We must speak out. Silence only emboldens terrorists. It also encourages their intimidatory tactics. India appeals to the international community to work together in the fight against terrorism and their sponsors," she said.
'NRC transparent, non-discriminatory'
Defending the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the secretary said it is "a statutory, transparent, non- discriminatory legal process mandated and monitored by the Supreme Court of India." "Any decision that is taken during the process of its implementation will comply with Indian law and will be consistent with India’s democratic traditions," she added.
'Committed to protecting human rights'
Vijay concluded her speech by reiterating India's commitment to human rights and said practical measures were needed to protect and promote the economic, social and cultural rights of people across the globe.
"India firmly believes in a constructive approach to promote and protect human rights. We believe that human rights are best protected when national institutions are strengthened. We do so as a nation of 1.3 billion people, which embodies the highest principles of democracy, tolerance and unity in diversity. India takes this opportunity to reaffirm its commitment towards meaningful engagement with the Council for promotion and protection of human rights everywhere," she said.
Updated Date: Sep 11, 2019 08:06:25 IST