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.
Breaking: Indian delegate at the General Assembly Hall walks out as PM Imran Khan starts his diatribe about India. pic.twitter.com/68lKLrpPq8— Sidhant Sibal (@sidhant) September 25, 2020
The diplomatic symbolism of Vinito’s action wasn’t lost on Indian social media users who strongly backed the walkout.
Senior Indian Diplomat #MijitoVinito will hog headlines of newspapers tmrw after walking out from the #UNGA hall just as @ImranKhanPTI was going to launch his well-known diatribe to target India.— Ravinder Singh Robin ਰਵਿੰਦਰ ਸਿੰਘ راویندرسنگھ روبن (@rsrobin1) September 26, 2020
Later, India strongly responded while exercising its right of reply at the #UNGA pic.twitter.com/gnZYbqjgpQ
Pakistan - a country that is a nursery and epicentre of Terrorism. Well done India for walking out 👍— Doctah Who (@RisetoPowerofN) September 25, 2020
Well done 👏👏👏. Regurgitation of lies and falsehoods about India while being the cradle of terrorism doesn't deserve an audience, certainly not India which is at the receiving end of Pakistan's perennial terrorism.— Priyansha (@_Priyansha__) September 26, 2020
Why should we be harsh with imran Khan .there wasn't anything new than last year. Felt as if he is standing on a container placed at UN. The speech was meant for audience at home . He realises the issue is resolved now @timesofindia— Sunil Totade (@TotadeSunil) September 26, 2020
Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to deliver his speech at the UNGA in a few hours from now.