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India and Pakistan trade angry accusations at the UN General Assembly

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India and Pakistan have clashed at the United Nations as Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan accused India of a "reign of terror" on Muslims, drawing a stern rebuke.

In a prerecorded speech aired during the evening, the Pakistani prime minister touched on a range of topics that included climate change, global Islamophobia and "the plunder of the developing world by their corrupt elites".

But Khan reserved his harshest words for India, once again labeling Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist government "fascist".

"The worst and most pervasive form of Islamophobia now rules India," Khan said in his address.

"The hate-filled Hindutva ideology, propagated by the fascist RSS-BJP regime, has unleashed a reign of fear and violence against India's 200 million-strong Muslim community," he said.

Khan was referring to Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party and the affiliated Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a century-old Hindu revivalist movement with a paramilitary component.

Under Modi, India has rescinded the autonomy of Kashmir, its only Muslim-majority region, pushed through a citizenship law that critics call discriminatory and has witnessed repeated flare-ups of religious-based violence.

While India often ignores Pakistan's statements at the world body, a young Indian diplomat on the floor exercised the right to respond to Khan, according to Al Jazeera.

'Pakistan nurtures terrorists'

Sneha Dubey, a first secretary at India's UN mission, accused Pakistan of sheltering and glorifying al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden who was killed by US special forces in a 2011 raid in the army city of Abbottabad.

"This is the country which is an arsonist disguising itself as a firefight," she said.

"Pakistan nurtures terrorists in their back yard in the hope that they will only harm their neighbors."

She highlighted violence against minorities in Pakistan as well as its "religious and cultural genocide" in 1971 as Bangladesh won independence.

"Unlike Pakistan, India is a pluralistic democracy with a substantial population of minorities who have gone on to hold highest offices in the country," Dubey said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Not surprisingly, in his speech at the UNGA Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said that countries using terrorism as political tool need to understand that it is an equally big threat to them.

Obviously he was alluding to Pakistan as India has often slammed Pakistan for allegedly providing safe havens to terrorists.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
 
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