Launching a frontal attack on Pakistan nailing its lies and exposing its double-speak on the issue of terrorism, Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj point blank demanded the global community to isolate such nations that refuse to be part of the fight to weed out terrorism from the face of the earth.
She was addressing the UN General Assembly on Monday.
Acknowledging that terrorism was the biggest violation of human rights, Swaraj exposed Pakistan for nurturing, peddling and exporting terrorism to neighbouring countries.
A couple of days ago Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif speaking from the same platform had raised the Kashmir issue. Sharif praised Burhan Wani, the Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist whose killing triggered the fresh round of violence in Kashmir.
Without mincing words, Swaraj said that Jammu-Kashmir was an integral part of India and that Pakistan should abandon its dream of snatching it.
“Jammu-Kashmir is an integral part of India and Pakistan should not even dream of snatching it from us”, she said.
“Those accusing others of human rights violations would do well to introspect and see their own egregious abuses”, Swaraj hinted at Pakistan reminding them that those who live in glass houses do should not throw stones at others.
The Indian External Affairs Minister said that there are countries that nurture terrorism, peddle it and export to other countries, adding “we need to identify them and isolate them in the interest of global welfare”.
At the very beginning, Swaraj said that we will be judged by our action and equally by our inaction. What goals have we achieved and what objectives remain unfulfilled? I would like to highlight two such pending tasks of this Assembly.
Exposing the hollowness in demand of Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif for conditional talks, Swaraj explained how India had attempted a paradigm of friendship in the last two years without precedent. We conveyed Eid greetings to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, wished success to his cricket team, extended good wishes for his health and well-being. Did all this come with pre-conditions attached?
We took the initiative to resolve issues not on the basis of conditions, but on the basis of friendship.
Did we impose any pre-condition before extending an invitation for the oath-taking ceremony of our government? Did we impose any pre-condition when I went to Islamabad for the Heart of Asia conference and agreed to begin the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue? Did we impose any pre-condition when Prime Minister Modi travelled from Kabul to Lahore? What pre-conditions?
The Prime Minister of Pakistan also said that India has placed pre-conditions for talks which are not acceptable to him. What pre-conditions?
And what did we get in return? Pathankot, Bahadur Ali, and Uri. Bahadur Ali is a terrorist in our custody, whose confession is a living proof of Pakistan’s complicity in cross-border terror.
“I can only say that 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”, she said.
In our midst, there are nations that still speak the language of terrorism, that nurture it, peddle it and export it. To shelter terrorists became their calling card. We must identify these nations and hold them to account. These nations, in which UN declared 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.
We need to forget our prejudices and join hands together to script an effective strategy against terror. This is not an impossible task provided we have the will. We can do it, we must do it.
Therefore, if we want to defeat terrorism, there is only one way – that we unite across our differences, add steel to our resolve and inject urgency in our response.
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.
But it is important to ask – who is behind this and who benefits from it? Terrorists do not own banks or weapons factories, so let us ask the real question: who finances these terrorists, who arm them and provide sanctuaries? Terrorism has gone way beyond affecting individuals or nations – it is a crime against humanity itself. It targets the innocent and kills indiscriminately.
We must acknowledge that terrorism is undoubtedly the biggest violation of human rights.
However, despite the blood and tears of innocent victims, attacks this year alone in Kabul and Dhaka, Istanbul and Mogadishu, Brussels and Bangkok, Paris, Pathankot and Uri as well as daily barbaric tragedies in Syria and Iraq, remind us that these malevolent forces are yet to be defeated.
The world has been battling this scourge for long. We, who have suffered in Uri recently, understand the pain inflicted by the same forces. Tragically, less than 15 days ago, another attempt at killing innocents was made through an act of terror in this same city.
Let me now turn to a subject of the most critical importance, one which deeply concerns every member of this Assembly. This month we marked the 15th Anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on this city.
We have decided to submit our Instrument of Ratification of the Paris Agreement on October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi who epitomised a lifestyle with the smallest carbon footprint.
I assure this Assembly that India will continue to play a leading role in combating climate change.
Our path-breaking initiative for an International Solar Alliance is intended to make efficient solar technology available for all.
India has launched an ambitious domestic effort to transform our energy mix to achieve 40% energy from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030.
We must treat nature fairly, otherwise, there will be a catastrophe. We have seen this around the world.
The world has enough resources for our needs but not greed. That’s why Prime Minister has suggested the principle of climate justice.
India is the fastest growing major economy in the world.
We have launched a large programme on sanitation called Swachh Bharat. Lakhs of toilets have been made in schools and they are working.