Amid an escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan, India said “one-trick pony (Pakistan)” can continue to rake the Kashmir issue at the high-level 73rd UN General Assembly session that begins Tuesday, but “single act plays” have no resonance on multilateral platforms like the United Nations.
Addressing a press conference, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin said the UN General Assembly session is a global platform to address global issues, yet each country is sovereign and can do what they feel is in their best interests. “If somebody else would like to be a one-trick pony, it is for them to regurgitate and act. We have handled this act many times in the past and are confident that we will do so again. Single act plays have no resonance in such matters. Anybody can try and be a solo player. However solo players in a multi-lateral context have neither the past or a future.”
Adding that the United Nations works best on the basis of multilateralism, Akabruddin said India is proud that its priorities during the General Assembly have great resonance in the international community.
Led by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at the UN session, India will focus on five topics: reformed multilateralism, climate change action, health, development and peacekeeping, he said. India will also raise the cross-border terrorism issue during the debate, Joint Secretary for UN Political in the Ministry of External Affairs Dinesh Patnaik said.
The foreign ministers of India and Pakistan were expected to meet on the sidelines of the summit, but India cancelled the talks after citing “two deeply disturbing developments” — the “brutal killings” of security personnel by Pakistan-based entities and the release of postage stamps glorifying Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani. “Any conversation with Pakistan in such an environment would be meaningless,” the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement, adding that “the evil agenda of Pakistan stands exposed” and the “true face” of Imran Khan, the new Prime Minister of Pakistan, has been “revealed to the world”.
After the talks were cancelled, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his disappointment at the “arrogant” and “negative” response of the Indian government to his call for the resumption of the “peace dialogue”.
When asked about Khan’s response, Akbaruddin said India is a multi-literalist nation and responds to multilateral issues of a global nature that it is confronted with. “What you have raised is an issue relating to our bilateral ties. Those will be addressed bilaterally in the format that we desire to address them.”
Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi is expected to highlight the situation in Kashmir during his the General Assembly address, Pakistani media reported on Monday. While Sushma Swaraj will address the General Debate on the morning of September 29, Qureshi is scheduled to talk in the afternoon on the same day