Seeking to isolate Pakistan on the world stage, India Monday told the United Nations “there are nations that still speak the language of terrorism, that nurture it, peddle it and export it” and “should have no place in the comity of nations” because they are “as culpable as the very terrorists they harbour”.
Raising the issue of human rights violations in Balochistan — possibly the first time at the UN General Assembly by an Indian foreign minister — External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj countered Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s statements on Kashmir and said “terrorism is undoubtedly the biggest violation of human rights”.
She also sent Pakistan a blunt message on Kashmir: “Abandon this dream… Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and will always remain so.”
“Those accusing others of human rights violations would do well to introspect and see what egregious abuses they are perpetrating in their own country, including in Balochistan. The brutality against the Baloch people represents the worst form of state oppression. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones at others,” Swaraj said to a round of applause.
Taking on Sharif for claiming that India was insisting on pre-conditions for resumption of the dialogue process, the External Affairs Minister cited India’s initiatives from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invitation to Sharif for his swearing-in ceremony to his Lahore trip.
“And what did we get in return? Pathankot, Bahadur Ali and Uri. Bahadur Ali is a terrorist in our custody whose confession is living proof of Pakistan’s complicity in cross-border terror. But when confronted with such evidence, Pakistan remains in denial. It persists in the belief that such attacks will enable it to obtain the territory it covets. 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.”
“In our midst, there are nations that still speak the language of terrorism, that nurture it, peddle it, and export it. To shelter terrorists has become their calling card. We must identify these nations and hold them to account,” she told the UNGA.
Referring to Pakistan where terrorists like Hafiz Saeed roam freely, she said, “These nations, in which UN-designated terrorists roam freely, lead processions and deliver their poisonous sermons of hate with impunity, are as culpable as the very terrorists they harbour. Such countries should have no place in the comity of nations.”
“And if any nation refuses to join this global strategy (against terrorism), then we must isolate it,” she said, adding that India, which has suffered in Uri recently, understood the pain inflicted by the same forces. In this context, she named terror attacks from Dhaka to Kabul, Paris to Mogadishu.
“We must acknowledge that terrorism is undoubtedly the biggest violation of human rights… History proves that those who seed extremist ideologies reap a bitter harvest. The germ of evil has grown into a hydra-headed monster, backed by technological sophistication that threatens the peace and harmony of our world. We will not be able to win against terrorism by making specious distinctions between your problems and mine, between terrorists who attack you and those who attack me. For, we do not know who this Frankenstein’s monster will devour next.”
Swaraj also urged the UNGA to act on two critical unfulfilled tasks: First, passing the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT), which has been pending for two decades, and second, an expansion in the membership of the Security Council to reflect contemporary realities.
“The CCIT was proposed by India in 1996. In 2016, despite the passage of two decades, we are yet to come to a conclusion. As a result, we are unable to develop a norm under which terrorists shall be prosecuted or extradited. Therefore, it is my appeal that this General Assembly acts with fresh resolve and urgency to adopt this critical convention,” she said, making a pitch for CCIT.