UNITED NATIONS: Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, speaking at the 71st United Nations General Assembly, said on Monday that it was time to identify nations who nurture, peddle and export terrorism and isolate them if they don’t join the global fight against terrorism.
“In our midst, there are nations that still speak the language of terrorism, that nurture it, peddle it, and export it,” said Swaraj in a veiled reference to Pakistan.
The harsh India rhetoric at the UNGA comes after the attack on an Indian army base in India-held Kashmir earlier this month. The attack killed 18 Indian army personnel. India immediately blamed Pakistan for the attack.
The Indian minister added it had become the calling card of such nations to shelter terrorists, and urged the United Nations (UN) to hold such nations to account.
“These nations, in which UN declared terrorists roam freely, lead processions and deliver their poisonous sermons of hate with impunity, are as culpable as the very terrorists they harbour,” said Swaraj.
She also said that “such countries should have no place in the comity of nations”.
Swaraj referred to the speech of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the UNGA, and said the allegations levelled against India were “baseless”.
“Prime Minister of Pakistan used this podium to make baseless allegations about human rights violations in my country.”
The Indian foreign minister stated that Pakistan should introspect and see the abuses being carried out in Balochistan.
She also added that the “brutality against the Baloch people represents the worst form of state oppression”.
It is pertinent to mention that the brutal and heavy-handed tactics used by Indian security forces in India-held Kashmir has led to the deaths of more than 100 people, hundreds have been blinded by ‘non-lethal pellet guns’ and over a thousand people have been injured.
Swaraj claimed that India had no preconditions for talks with Pakistan and said India wants to resolve issues not on the basis of conditions, but on the basis of friendship.
She further alleged that India did not receive the appropriate response from Pakistan and instead got a reply in the form of “Pathankot, Bahadur Ali, and Uri”.
“Bahadur Ali is a terrorist in our custody, whose confession is a living proof of Pakistan’s complicity in cross-border terror,” claimed the foreign minister.
Referring to Kashmir, she ‘advised’ Pakistan to abandon the dream of having control of India-held Kashmir.
“My firm advice to Pakistan is: abandon this dream. Let me state unequivocally that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and will always remain so,” Swaraj said.
Pakistan responds to Indian FM’s tirade at UNGA
The Foreign Office (FO) of Pakistan on Monday questioned Indian minister for external affairs that if Kashmir was an integral part of India, then why was it on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
In her address with the UN General Assembly today, Swaraj reiterated that Kashmir was an integral part of India saying New Delhi was not bound to hold talks with Pakistan.
Refraining from the mention of worst human rights abuses in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK), she said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in his address with the assembly leveled baseless accusations against India.
A spokesperson for the Foreign Office said that Indian minister’s dismissal of the UN’s Kashmir resolution was astonishing.
Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN Maleeha Lodhi also responded to Swaraj describing her address as a ‘pack of lies’.
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The 2018 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference is scheduled for April 8 to 11 in Boao, Hainan Province. The forum will be themed "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity."
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily