22:20 GMT16 January 2021
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi made a feverish pitch at the UN Human Rights Commission (UNHCR) meeting in Geneva against India’s decision to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special status.

    Qureshi told the world body on Tuesday that India’s “illegal military occupation” of Jammu and Kashmir raises the "spectre of genocide". He even equated the situation in Kashmir with “Rwanda, Srebrenica, the Rohingya and the pogrom of Gujarat”.

    But what angered Pakistanis and amused Indians was the foreign minister referring to Kashmir as an “Indian state”, with a storm subsequently being unleashed on social media.

    “If the life has returned to normalcy (in Jammu and Kashmir, then I say, why don’t they (India) allow you, the international media, why don’t they allow international organisations, NGOs, civil society organizations to go into the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir and see for themselves of the realities”, Qureshi told media persons outside UNHCR’s office.

    ​Indian social media regulars have gone hammer and tongs over the remark, claiming that it was an admission of reality.

    ​Tensions between India and Pakistan grew after New Delhi stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its special status in early August. India has also divided the state into two federally administered territories.

    Peeved at the decision, Pakistan mounted a diplomatic offensive against India to internationalise the Kashmir issue, besides downsizing its own mission in New Delhi, suspending all communications and trade with its eastern neighbour.

    Pakistan claims that it is a stakeholder in the Kashmir issue and that India’s decision was unacceptable to it. New Delhi, however, gave a short shrift and said that it was an internal issue of India.

    Kashmir has been a bone of contention between the two countries since they gained freedom from British colonial rule in 1947. Both govern it in parts, but claim the territory in full.

    Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir, India, Pakistan, Geneva, UNHCR
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