NEW YORK: Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had extended a hand of friendship to Pakistan, but this was not reciprocated by the neighbouring country. She also described Pakistan as “the greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity”.
Addressing the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, Swaraj said that while India is engaged in fighting poverty, Pakistan “seems only engaged in fighting us”.
In 2015, then Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif had called for a renewed dialogue, but “he must answer why that proposal withered, because Pakistan is responsible for aborting that peace process”, she claimed.
Swaraj called terrorism “an existential danger to humanity”. “If Pakistan stops funding terror, the world will get rid of terrorism, and its own citizens will also benefit,” she said.
Sushma took a swipe at Pakistan, telling the United Nations that its neighbour had given the world “terrorists” while India was producing top-notch doctors and engineers. “We produced scholars, doctors, engineers. What have you produced? You have produced terrorists,” she said.
Swaraj offered a response to an address earlier in the week by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi who at the UN podium accused India of “massive and indiscriminate force” in Kashmir.
She also urged Islamabad to “look within” to realise why India was an IT superpower today, whereas Pakistan was recognised as the “pre-eminent export factory of terror”, despite the countries becoming independent around the same time.
Relations between India and Pakistan have been tense in recent times, mainly over Kashmir, which is divided but claimed by both countries in full.
The two nuclear-armed nations have fought three wars since gaining independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over the disputed Himalayan territory.
Following Abbasi’s speech on Thursday, an Indian diplomat took to the floor of the General Assembly in a reply and branded the country “Terroristan”.
India accuses Islamabad of training, arming and infiltrating militants into Kashmir, a claim that Pakistan has denied.
On Friday, the Pakistani military said six people were killed and over two dozen wounded in firing by Indian troops near the Kashmir border.
Swaraj urged the developed world to support other countries through technology transfer and Green Climate Financing. She also called for “early reforms” in the United Nations Security Council and said it was an essential element to reform the international organisation itself.
Pakistan hits back at India calls it ‘mother of terrorism’ in South Asia
A top Pakistani diplomat Maleeha Lodhi has categorically rejected India’s sweeping allegations about Pakistan’s involvement in terrorist acts, and cited instances of the Indian sponsorship of terrorism and aggression against all its neighbours making the country the “mother of terrorism” in South Asia.
“India has considerable experience in the state sponsorship of terrorism in our region,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi,
In her response to the allegations of terrorism levelled against Pakistan by India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in her address at the UN General Assembly session in New York, Lodhi said India is using terrorism as a state policy.
Exercising the right of reply to an earlier speech, Lodhi accused Swaraj of “indulging in an orgy of slander against Pakistan.”
“Her comments towards my country betray the hostility that the Indian leadership has towards Pakistan -the hostility we have endured for 70 years,” Ambassador Lodhi told the 72nd UNGA.
“Indian spy Kulbhushan Yadav has confessed of committing terrorism in Pakistan,” Lodhi said.
“Repeating falsehoods year after year does not and cannot conceal or alter the truth. But in her vitriol she deliberately ignored the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir.”
Lodhi noted Jammu and Kashmir was not a part of India and was recognised by the United Nations and the international community as ‘disputed” territory’. “I invite all of you, and the Indian FM, to look at the UN maps,” she said.
The Pakistani diplomat said that India’s military occupation of the State was illegal as the UN Security Council had, in over a dozen resolutions, decided that the dispute must be resolved by enabling the people of Jammu and Kashmir to determine their own destiny through a UN-supervised plebiscite.
India has been levelling allegations against Pakistan to divert international attention from the brutalities of Indian forces in held Kashmir, she said. The crimes against humanity in held Kashmir should be investigated.
She also urged the international community to stop India from ceasefire violations on the Line of Control. Pakistan wants a resolution of all outstanding issues through talks, she said, adding that India will have to give up the policy of terrorism.
Lodhi recalled that India’s brutal occupation of Kashmir has killed over 100,000 innocent Kashmiris. Although India had launched a campaign of brutality inside Kashmir — including the shooting and blinding of innocent Kashmiri children with pellet guns — and yet had failed to subdue these Kashmiri children, women and youth who came out on the streets almost daily to demand that India get out of occupied Kashmir.
“India cannot hide behind semantics. Any interstate dispute, like Kashmir, is by definition an ‘international’ dispute. If the parties fail to resolve a dispute, the UN and the international community has not only the right but the obligation to intervene and help to resolve the dispute,” she said.
As a pre-condition for a fruitful dialogue, she said that India will have to shun the policy of terrorism and supporting terrorism in Pakistan.
Lodhi also disagreed with Swaraj’s suggestion that Pakistan was avoiding bilateral talks with India. “India now also refuses a bilateral dialogue with Pakistan, either composite or comprehensive. The conditions it poses – that first there be an end of violence — begs the question. Violence emanates, first and foremost, from India’s occupation and brutal suppression of the Kashmiri people,” she maintained.
The ambassador also charged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi of being involved in the killing of Muslims in Gujrat. Hands of several leaders of the ruling party in India are stained with the blood of innocent people, she added.