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Foreign Affairs

Sushma’s Scathing Attack On Pak For Abetting Terrorism

UN Photo/Cia Pak – Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj of India addresses the seventy-third session of the United Nations General Assembly.

NEW YORK, Sept. 29 : External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday launched a blistering attack on Pakistan, accusing it of glorifying terrorists, glorifying them and turning a blind eye to the innocent victims of terrorism. 

Addressing the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly here, she described terrorism as the second existential threat to humanity. She cautioned that the demon of terrorism was stalking the world at a faster pace somewhere and a slower pace somewhere else but was threatening life everywhere. 

Pointing to the collusion of Pakistan in abetting and encouraging terrorism, she said that both the masterminds behind 9/11 attack in New York and 26/11 in Mumbai were from Pakistan from where the world’s most wanted terrorist and 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden was hunted down by the American intelligence and security agencies. 

“In our case, terrorism is bred not in some faraway land, but across our border to the west. Our neighbour’s expertise is not restricted to spawning grounds for terrorism; it is also an expert in trying to mask malevolence with verbal duplicity,” she told the UNGA.

In her 40-minute address delivered in Hindi, she accused Pakistan of duplicity despite the most startling evidence of Osama bin Laden, the architect of W9/11, having given safe haven in that country. 

But Pakistan continued to behave as if nothing had happened, she said adding that  Pakistan’s commitment to terrorism as an instrument of official policy has not abated one bit. Neither has its belief in hypocrisy. The killers of 9/11 met their fate; but the mastermind of 26/11 Hafiz Saeed still roams the streets of Pakistan with impunity, the External Affairs Minister said. 

“What is heartening is that the world is no longer ready to believe Islamabad. FATF, for instance, has put Pakistan on notice over terror funding,” she told the UN General Assembly. 

Asserting that it was India which believed that talks are the only rational means to resolve the most complex issues, she said that India is being accused of sabotaging the process of talks with Pakistan. 

“This is a complete lie. We believe that talks are the only rational means to resolve the most complex of disputes. Talks with Pakistan have begun many times. If they stopped, it was only because of Pakistan’s behavior. There have been many governments in India, by many different parties. Each government has tried the peace option,” she said. 

Ms. Swaraj said that Prime Minister Modi, by inviting the Heads of the SAARC nations, to his swearing in ceremony, began his attempt for dialogue on his very first day in office.

“On 9th December 2016, I personally went to Islamabad and offered a comprehensive bilateral dialogue. But soon after, Pak sponsored terrorists attacked our air force base in Pathankot on 2nd January. Please explain to me how we could pursue talks in the midst of terrorist bloodshed? Even now, after the new government came to power, the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan wrote to Prime Minister Modi suggesting a meeting between Foreign Ministers in New York. We accepted the proposal. But, within hours of our acceptance, news came that terrorists had killed three of our jawans. Does this indicate a desire for dialogue?” she said. 

Accusing Pakistan of glorifying killers and terrorists, she said it refuses to see the blood of innocents and it has become a habit with Pakistan to throw the dust of deceit and deception against India to  in order to provide some thin cover for its own guilt. 

Last year, Pakistan’s representative, using her right to reply, displayed some photographs as “proof” of “human rights violations” by India. The photographs turned out to be from another country. Similar false accusations have become a part of its standard rhetoric, she said. 

She said that India has been arguing from this podium that lists are not enough to check terrorists and their protectors. “We need to bring them to accountability through international law,” she said. 

Ms. Swaraj appealed to all national to arrive at a consensus on a common definition of terrorism. “On the one hand, we want to fight terrorism; on the other, we cannot define it. This is why terrorists with a price on their head are celebrated , finances and armed as liberation heroes by a country that remains a member of the United Nations. Cruelty and barbarism are advertised as heroism. The country prints postage stamps glorifying terrorists. If we do not act now, we will have to deal with conflagration later,” she said. 

Dwelling upon urgently needed UN reforms, she said that slowly the importance, influence, respect and value of this institution is beginning to ebb.“It is time to wonder if we are wandering towards the fate of the League of Nations,” she cautioned. 

“The United Nations must accept that it needs fundamental reform. Reform cannot be cosmetic. We need change the institution’s head and heart to make both compatible to contemporary reality.  Reform must begin today; tomorrow could be too late. If the UN is ineffective, the whole concept of multilateralism will collapse,” she said. 

Ms. Swaraj said India will never weaken the multilateral mechanism. “India believes that the world is a family, and the best means of resolution is shared discourse. A family is shaped by love and is not transactional; a family is nurtured by consideration not greed; a family believes in harmony not jealousy. Greed breeds conflict; consideration leads to resolution. That is why the United Nations must be based on the principles of the family. The UN cannot be run by the ‘I’, it only works by the ‘We’,” she said in her appeal. 

“Arrogance has no place in our scheme of things; arrogance is counter-productive and self-defeating. Let us work for the benefit of the less fortunate. Let us work for a world where there is peace, serenity and shared prosperity; a world that is free from terrorism, tension and violence,” she said in her forceful plea. 

Earlier, in her address the External Affairs Minister also dwelt upon a number of social welfare schemes launched under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi and recounted the success of government programmes like financial inclusion through Jan Dhan yojana, universal health insurance scheme, housing for all, skill development and the mission to make India clean, secure and developed by 2022. 

By TIS Staffer
the authorBy TIS Staffer

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