16:35 GMT19 October 2020
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    Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan accused India of perpetrating a state-sponsored Islamophobia (fear of Islam). It was a reference to India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its Hindu nationalist parental organisation Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS).

    India’s First Secretary Mijito Vinito on Saturday walked out of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session, moments before Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan was about to address the meeting.

    During his video address, the Pakistani leader reiterated his criticism of Indian government’s decision to abrogate Jammu and Kashmir's special status, available to the state for decades under Article 370 of Indian Constitution.

    India's Parliament had revoked the special status last year and split the erstwhile State into federally administered territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.  

    Prime Minister Khan during his speech also hit out at the Indian government over allegations of discrimination against Muslims.

    Khan's speech, however, drew a sharp reaction from India, which used its “Right of Reply” option to remind Islamabad about its perceived protection of terrorist groups.

    "This is the same country that has systematically cleansed its minorities including Hindus, Christians, Sikhs and others, through the abuse of blasphemy laws and through forced religious conversions," Vinito also remarked during his strongly worded reply.

    The video of Indian diplomat Vinito walking out of the UNGA hall in the lead-up to Khan’s speech elicited reactions on Twitter.

    ​The diplomatic symbolism of Vinito’s action wasn’t lost on Indian social media users who strongly backed the walkout.

    Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to deliver his speech at the UNGA in a few hours from now.


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