Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday glorified slain Hizbul commander Burhan Wani as a ‘young leader’ seeking to accuse India of not wanting to resolve the dispute between the two nations. He was speaking at the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Sharif said his country supports ‘self-determination’ for the people of Kashmir, calling for a United Nations fact-finding team to visit Jammu Kashmir to record “extra-judicial killings” that he claimed have taken place in the region.
Minutes after Sharif concluded his speech, India rejected Pakistan’s false accusations asking if calling for an end to terrorism as a condition for talks was too much to ask for. India also reiterated its stand that Pakistan is a terror state and that the government in that country was allowing terror organisations to roam freely in its lands.
Here are the responses from India to Nawaz Sharif’s UNGA speech.
Talks and guns don’t go together: MJ Akbar
Minister of State External Affairs MJ Akbar slammed Sharif’s speech at the UNGA saying “we just heard a speech full of threat bluster and rising immaturity and complete disregard of facts.”
Akbar, who is in New York, also rejected Sharif’s offer of ‘serious dialouge’ saying “talks and guns don’t go together.”
“Pakistan at this moment seems to be run by a war machine rather than a government. Pakistan wants dialogue while holding a terrorist gun in its hand,” he said.
Akbar also slammed Sharif for his remarks on Kashmir, saying: “Kashmir occupation is by Pakistan occupation army. The world also knows that Pakistan has been indulged in ethnic cleansing of its own people.”
On Sharif’s mention of Burhan Wani, Akbar responded: “We heard the glorification of a terrorist. Wani is declared commander of Hizbul, widely acknowledged as a terror group. It is shocking that a leader of a nation can glorify a self-advertised terrorist at such a forum. This is self incrimination by Pakistan PM,” Akbar said. Read more here
‘End to terrorism as condition for talks not acceptable?’
The first official response to Nawaz Sharif’s address at the UNGA came from spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Vikas Swarup. In a series of tweets, Swarup countered Sharif’s allegations against India asking if an end to terrorism as a condition for talks was unacceptable to that nation.
“PM Sharif at UNGA says India poses unacceptable conditions to dialogue. India’s only condition is an end to terrorism. This not acceptable?”
He also questioned Sharif for his silence on Sunday’s Uri attack: “Pak PM Sharif at UNGA in complete denial of Uri terror attack. 19 infiltration attempts stopped at LoC this year. Indigenous??!! Pak PM Sharif at UNGA glorifies Hizbul terrorist Burhan Wani in UN’s highest forum. Shows continued Pak attachment to terrorism.” Read more here
Right of Reply at the United Nations General Assembly
At the United Nations, exercising its Right of Reply, India responded to Sharif’s “long tirade” with First Secretary in the Permanent Mission of India to the UN Eenam Gambhir saying “the worst violation of human rights is terrorism.”
“When practised as an instrument of state policy it is a war crime. What my country and our other neighbours are facing today is Pakistan’s long-standing policy of sponsoring terrorism, the consequences of which have spread well beyond our region,” she said.
Through Gambhir, India reiterated its stand that Pakistan is a terror state, and that terrorists designated by the United Nations continued to roam Pakistan’s streets freely and operate with State support.
“With the approval of authorities, many terrorist organisations raise funds openly in flagrant violation of Pakistan’s international obligations,” she said, adding that while Pakistan’s nuclear proliferation record is marked by “deception and deceit,” it talks about restraint, renunciation and peace.
Referring to Nawaz Sharif’s mention of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani as a youth leader, Gambhir said: “Even today we have heard support by the Prime Minister of Pakistan for a self-acknowledged commander of a known terrorist organisation.” Read more here
— Syed Akbaruddin (@AkbaruddinIndia) September 22, 2016
Sushma Swaraj’s address at the United Nations General Assembly
India’s biggest response to Sharif’s speech, however, will be External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s speech during the general debate. While the date has not yet been announced, it is likely to take place later this week.