A day after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan used the United Nations platform to criticise India and warned of a “bloodbath” in Kashmir, India Saturday shot back at Khan and said his threat of unleashing nuclear devastation “qualifies as brinkmanship not statesmanship”.
Exercising India’s right to reply to Khan’s address to the United Nations General Assembly, Vidisha Maitra, First Secretary MEA, said, “Prime Minister Khan’s threat of unleashing nuclear devastation qualifies as brinksmanship, not statesmanship. Even coming from the leader of a country that has monopolised the entire value chain of the industry of terrorism, Prime Minister Khan’s justification of terrorism was brazen and incendiary.”
On Friday, while addressing the assembly, Khan had said, “If a conventional war starts between the two countries, anything could happen. But supposing a country seven times smaller than its neighbour is faced with the choice: either you surrender, or you fight for your freedom till death?”
“What will we do? I ask myself these questions. We will fight… and when a nuclear-armed country fights to the end, it will have consequences far beyond the borders,” he added.
In a strong rebuttal today, the First Secretary MEA also asked if the Imran Khan-led government will admit that it is the only one in the world that provides pension to global terrorists.
“Will Pakistan acknowledge that it is the only government in the world that provides pension to an individual listed by the UN in the Al-Qaeda and Daesh sanctions list?”
“Will Pakistan deny that the Financial Action Task Force has put the country on notice for its violations of more than 20 of the 27 key parameters? And would PM Imran Khan deny to the city of New York that he was an open defender of Osama bin Laden?” she added.
Maitra was referring to Khan’s remark at the US Institute of Peace earlier this year, when he said he felt humiliated after US forces killed the dreaded terrorist Osama bin Laden in a daring strike inside Pakistan in 2011. “Never did I feel more humiliated because here was a country which was supposed to be an ally and our ally did not trust us,” Khan had said.
The First Secretary MEA also asked if the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief can confirm that his country is home to 130 UN-designated terrorists and 25 terror entities listed by the UN.
“Now that PM Imran Khan has invited UN observers to Pakistan to verify that there are no militant organisations in the country, the world will hold him to that promise,” she said.
Relations between the two countries have been complex ever since New Delhi scrapped the Jammu and Kashmir’s special status by diluting the Article 370 of Constitution, whereby the state was bifurcated into two Union territories, namely: Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
“While Pakistan has ventured into upstream terrorism and downstream hate speech, India is going with the mainstream of development in Kashmir,” she said.
Taking a swipe at the PTI chief, Maitra said India does not “need anyone else to speak on their behalf, least of all those who have built an industry of terrorism from the ideology of hate”.
Maitra also reminded Khan of the gruesome genocide perpetrated by Pakistan against its own people in 1971. “Pogroms, PM Imran Khan Niazi, are not a phenomenon of today’s vibrant democracies. We would request you to refresh your rather sketchy understanding of history,” she said.
Full text: India’s right to reply at UNGA by Vidisha Maitra
Referring to the “blatant abuse and forced conversions” in the neighbouring country, Maitra said, “This a country that has shrunk the size of its minority community from 23% in 1947 to 3% today and has subjected Christians, Sikhs, Ahmadiyas, Hindus, Shias, Pashtuns, Sindhis and Balochis to draconian blasphemy laws, systemic persecution, blatant abuse and forced conversions.”
“For someone who was once a cricketer and believed in the gentleman’s game, today’s speech bordered on the crudeness of the variety that is reminiscent of the guns of Darra Adam Khel,” she added.