Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday concluded his whirlwind trip to the United States after addressing the 74th session of the United National General Assembly (UNGA), urging the international community to give a new direction to multilateralism and to the United Nations. This was Modi’s first address to the global summit after returning to power earlier this year.
Keeping his speech centred around the government’s schemes back home, the Prime Minister said that when a developing nation successfully completes the world’s biggest cleanliness drive, builds more than 11 crore toilets in just 5 years for its citizens, then it serves as an inspiration for the entire world.
Meanwhile, Pakistan continued to make overtures to the international community over issues surrounding Kashmir as Imran Khan reiterated the nuclear threat.
India calls for global front against terror
Describing terrorism as one of the biggest challenges not just for itself but the entire world, without naming Pakistan, Modi speaking at slot number 4 from the UNGA dias said, “We believe that this is one of the biggest challenges, not for any single country, but for the entire world and humanity. The lack of unanimity amongst us on the issue of terrorism dents those very principles that are the basis for the creation of the UN.”
PM Modi also highlighted New Delhi’s contribution towards the UN peacekeeping mission and said that if there’s any country that has made the biggest sacrifice in the mission, it is India. Talking about the climate change and environmental emergencies facing the planet, Modi highlighted the decision to ban single-use plastic, conservation of water and its availability in 150 million homes to 20 million houses for the poor.
On global warming, the Prime Minister said that even though India’s contribution to global warming in terms of per-capita emissions is very low, it is at the forefront of the response against it. He highlighted steps taken by his government to fight climate change, including the 450 GW of renewable energy target and the formation of the International Solar Alliance.
Pakistan rakes up Kashmir, issues Nuclear threat
After failing to create an international momentum, Pakistan tried to rake up the issue of Jammu and Kashmir at the UNGA with Imran Khan using the global platform to criticise India. Addressing the assembly for the first time after coming to power, Khan repeated, “there are 900,000 troops there, they haven’t come, as Narendra Modi says, for the prosperity of Kashmir…These 900,000 troops, what are they going to do? When they come out, there will be a bloodbath,” Khan told the UNGA in New York.
“What is going to happen when the curfew is lifted will be a bloodbath. Has he thought through what happens then?” Khan said, alleging “the people will be out in the streets and what will the soldiers do? They will shoot them.” Khan said that if things continue along this road, a face-off between two nuclear-armed nations was all but inevitable.
Khan said that Pakistan had decided to “dismantle what was left of these terrorist groups”, and asked the UN to send observers. Meanwhile, the US asked Pakistan why it was only bothered about the human rights of Muslims in Kashmir and is not highlighting the “horrific conditions” that continue to exist for the members of the community throughout China.
Reserving its right to reply, India shot back at Khan and said that his threat of unleashing nuclear devastation “qualifies as brinkmanship not statesmanship”. “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,” Vidisha Maitra, First Secretary MEA told the UNGA.
China refers to Kashmir, Ladakh at UNGA, India rebuts
India took strong exception to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s reference to Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh in his address at the UNGA, asserting that the region is an integral part of the country and all nations should respect its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Wang told the UN General Assembly that the “dispute” should be peacefully and properly addressed in accordance with the UN Charter, UN Security Council resolutions and the bilateral agreement. The Chinese foreign minister also stressed that no actions should be taken that would unilaterally change the “status quo” of Kashmir.
The Chinese side is well aware of India’s position that Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh are an integral part of India, and that the recent developments are entirely a matter internal to us,” he said. Kumar said India expects other countries to respect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. “We expect that other countries will respect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and desist from efforts to change the status quo through the illegal so-called China Pakistan Economic Corridor in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir,” he said.