UNGA: Sushma Swaraj slams Pakistan’s support of terrorism, says ‘stop dreaming about Kashmir’

Washington: In a sharp rebuke to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s “tirade” on Kashmir, India said those accusing others of rights violations must introspect as it censured Pakistan for the first time at the UNGA for perpetrating the “worst form of state oppression” in Balochistan.

Sushma Swaraj

Taking a veiled dig at Pakistan, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in her address at the 71st UN General Assembly (UNGA) session said there are nations “in our midst” where UN designated terrorists roam freely and deliver “their poisonous sermons of hate with impunity”, an apparent reference to Mumbai attack mastermind and Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed.

She also made a strong pitch for isolating such nations who speak the language of terrorism and for whom sheltering terrorists has become “their calling card”.

“In our midst, there are nations that still speak the language of terrorism, that nurture it, peddle it, and export it. To shelter terrorists has become their calling card. We must identify these nations and hold them to account,” Swaraj asserted in her nearly 20-minute speech.

“These nations, in which UN designated 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,” Swaraj said, in essence making a call to the international community to isolate such nations.

In a strong rebuttal of the “baseless allegations” made by Sharif from the podium of the General Assembly about human rights violations by India in Kashmir, Swaraj said, “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. The brutality against the Baloch people represents the worst form of state oppression.”

Countering Pakistan’s claims that India has imposed
pre-conditions on talks, Swaraj said India got the terror attacks of Pathankot and Uri “in return” for taking the initiative to resolve issues with Islamabad not on the basis of conditions but on friendship.

She told Pakistan to “abandon this dream” of obtaining Kashmir, asserting that Jammu and Kashmir is an “integral part of India and will always remain so”.

“It (Pakistan) persists in the belief that such attacks will enable it to obtain the territory it covets,” Swaraj said, adding that their plans will not succeed.

Swaraj forcefully rejected Sharif’s remarks in his General Assembly address last week that India has placed “pre-conditions” for talks which are not acceptable to him.

“What pre-conditions? Did we impose any pre-condition before extending an invitation for the oath-taking ceremony of our Government?” Swaraj said, referring to the unprecedented move by Modi to invite heads of the governments from the South Asian neighborhood, including Sharif, for his oath-taking ceremony in May 2014.

“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?,” Swaraj said, making a reference to the surprise visit Modi made to Lahore last December on his way back from Kabul.

In her address, Swaraj said India has attempted an unprecedented “paradigm of friendship” with Pakistan over the last years, which has included wishing the Pakistani leader on the festival of Eid, wishing success to the his cricket team and extending good wishes for his health. In return, she said for these gestures, India got the terror attacks in Uri and Pathankot.

“We took the initiative to resolve issues not on the basis of conditions, but on the basis of friendship! We have in fact attempted a paradigm of friendship in the last two years which is 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,” Swaraj said.

“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,” she added.

Her speech came just over a week after 18 Indian jawans
were killed in a deadly attack by Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists from across the border on an army base in Kashmir’s Uri.

Launching a blistering attack on Pakistan, Modi on Saturday warned Pakistan that the Uri terror attack will not be forgotten and the sacrifice of the jawans will not go in vain.

In early January this year, two security personnel were killed when a group of heavily armed militants attacked the Pathankot Air Force Station.

Ali, a Pakistani national allegedly working for terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba who hails from Jahama village of Raiwind in Lahore, was arrested from a village in north Kashmir on July 25.

The Army had found three AK-47 rifles, two pistols and Rs 23,000 in his possession. Ali was allegedly trained at a Lashkar camp in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Swaraj asserted that when confronted with such evidence, Pakistan “remains in denial”.

Swaraj’s attack on Pakistan comes after Prime Minister Modi, addressing the East Asia Summit in Laos earlier this month, had said that there is “one country in our neighbourhood” which “produces and exports” terror and had called on the international community to isolate and sanction “this” instigator.

In a speech in Kozhikode on Saturday, his first public address after the Uri incident, Modi had said that India will intensify its efforts so that Pakistan is completely isolated.

Swaraj asserted that terrorism deeply concerns every member of the UN General Assembly, with people from New York, Kabul, Uri and Istanbul bearing the brunt of the growing scourge.

“This month we marked the 15th Anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on this city. Tragically, less than 15 days ago, another attempt at killing innocents was made through an act of terror in this same city,” Swaraj said reffering to the bombings in Manhattan and New Jersey earlier this month.

“We, who have suffered in Uri recently, understand the pain inflicted by the same forces. The world has been battling this scourge for long. 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,” she said.

Swaraj underlined that the international community must acknowledge that terrorism is undoubtedly the biggest violation of human rights and is a crime against humanity.

“It targets the innocent and kills indiscriminately.
Terrorism has gone way beyond affecting individuals or nations — it is a crime against humanity itself. 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 arms them and provides sanctuaries?” she said, adding that Afghanistan too had raised similar concerns on terror financing and safe havens from the UNGA podium.

History proves that those who seed extremist ideologies,
reap a bitter harvest. The germ of evil has grown into a hydra-headed monster, backed by technological sophistication that threatens the peace and harmony of our world,” Swaraj said.

She called on the international community to unite across our differences to defeat terrorism, saying the fight against the global scourge cannot be won if distinctions are made between terrorists.

“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. For we do not know who this Frankenstein’s monster will devour next,” she said.

There is only one way to defeat terrorism and that is to “unite across our differences, add steel to our resolve and inject urgency in our response,” she said.

Nations must forget their prejudices and join hands together to script an effective strategy against terror, Swaraj stressed.

“This is not an impossible task provided we have the will.
We can do it, we must do it. Otherwise our future generations will forever hold us to account. And if any nation refuses to join this global strategy, then we must isolate it,” she asserted.

Earlier Vikas Swarup had said: “”The whole world and the entire nation” is waiting to hear from Swaraj, who will deliver India’s “vision document” for the 71st UNGA, External Affairs.” With a focus on tackling terrorism, India will corner Pakistan, which used the world body forum to talk extensively about Kashmir four days ago, for being a “terrorist state”. India made its sharpest attack on Pakistan on Thursday, calling the country home to the “Ivy League of Terrorism” which carries out “war crimes” and pitches for talks with a “gun in its hand”. Outlining India’s focus for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session, India’s envoy to the UN Syed Akbaruddin had said that terrorism is the “primary concern” for India as well as for nations across the world. Swaraj will address the UN general debate and is expected to give a stinging response to Sharif’s speech. “We are all looking forward to that,” Swarup said. He did not elaborate on elements of Swaraj’s address but said “I think the broad themes that Akbaruddin has outlined are definitely going to be a part of our presentation at this most important forum in the international community”. Swarup said one can also expect “a continued focus from India on the theme of terrorism which is today undoubtedly the single biggest challenge to international peace and security”.

Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar earlier said glorification of Burhan Wani, commander of the militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen, by Sharif at the world forum is an act of “self-incrimination” by Pakistan. He had also said it is “shocking” that a leader of a nation can “glorify a self-declared self-advertised terrorist” at a forum such as the United Nations General Assembly after Sharif hailed Wani – who was killed on July 8 by the Indian forces resulting in tensions in the Valley – as a “young leader” and the “symbol” of the Kashmiris’ freedom movement. First Secretary in the Permanent Mission of India to the UN Eenam Gambhir also made a strong rebuttal to Sharif’s “long tirade” about the situation in Kashmir, saying it is ironical that a country which has established itself as the global epicentre of terrorism, is preaching human rights and talks about the ostensible support for self-determination. Exercising India’s Right of Reply, she told the UN General Assembly that shortly before Pakistan gave its “hypocritical sermons” in the world body, its envoy in New Delhi was summoned in the context of the most recent of the terror attacks in Uri that claimed 18 Indian lives.

With inputs from agencies

19:25 PM
Whether it’s institutions or issues, we must come to term with present-day situations. We must move forward through the inter-governmental negotiations. If this happens, we will be successful. The 21st Century began in turmoil, but we can make it better.

What happens tomorrow will depend on what we do today.

19:24 PM
We also need a less outdated security council.

19:23 PM
Nawaz Sharif wanted pre-conditions. Did we ever seek pre-conditions? Did we impose any pre-conditions when Modi went from Kabul to Lahore? We take initiatives without seeking pre-conditions. We wished him on eid. Wished his cricket team well. Hoped him the best. What did we get in return? Pathakot, Uri? Are we putting conditions or are we putting conditions?

Bahadur Ali is proof of a terrorists who came from the border.

19:23 PM
When confronted with proof Pakistan, goes into denial. Jammu and Kashmir is a part of India. Forget this foolish dream.

19:20 PM
If any nation refuses to join this global strategy, we must isolate them. There are nations we have to identify and isolate.

19:20 PM
The nations that harbour such terrorists are just as guilty as the terrorists as themselves. On 21st September, Nawaz Sharif made baseless allegations against human rights violations in my country. Those accusing us should introspect should introspect, the crimes in their own country, like Balochistan. It’s the worst form of human rights violations.

19:18 PM
Terrorism is a crime against humanity. It’s important for us to understand who benefits from it. Who provides sanctuary? Who provides weapons? Afghanistan asked the same question. Those who seek extremist ideologies reap a bitter harvest.

19:18 PM
We will not be able to win against terrorism by picking and choosing. If we want to defeat terrorism, the only way is to fight together, to script and effective tragedy. This is not an impossible task. Or our future generations will always hold us guilty.

19:16 PM
We who have suffered in Uri recently have understand the pain. Despite the blood and tears of victims, the daily barbaric tragedies that these forces are yet to be defeated. Terrorism is the biggest violation of human rights.

19:15 PM
India will continue to play a leading role in climate change. This is the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi who epitomised a lifestyle with the smallest carbon footprint.

19:14 PM
Let me express gratitude to the globe for appreciating International Yoga Day. We have ratified the Paris Climate Change accord.

19:12 PM
However, in a globalised world national efforts need to be helped by global support. Mr President, I am taking a second topic on climate change. Climate change is a serious challenge. WE have enough for need, but not enough for greed. In this context PM Modi, has championed a new concept called Climate Justice.

19:11 PM
She speaks about the Clean India (Swacch Bharat Campaign) and the Save the Girl Child (Beti Bachao Beti Padao Andolan). The Make in India brand is receiving international acclaim. Digital India is transforming the country under the Skill India initiative.

19:08 PM
The early part of her speech focuses on poverty and Swaraj thanks UN for focussing on sustainable goals.

19:07 PM
Sushma Swaraj takes a sip of water. She’s speaking in Hindi.

19:01 PM
And now Sushma Swaraj will address the gathering.

18:57 PM
While we wait, you can read Narendra Modi’s speech in which he flayed the Pakistani establishment and was hailed by his harshest critics. Read more about the speech here.

18:53 PM
inQ @v4viraj
@MEAIndia @SushmaSwaraj at what time is it expected?
Vikas Swarup ✔ @MEAIndia
. @v4viraj at 1900 IST
6:58 PM – 26 Sep 2016
17 17 Retweets 26 26 likes

18:52 PM
Sushma Swaraj has arrived.

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
Vikas Swarup ✔ @MEAIndia
Stage set for India.
EAM @SushmaSwaraj arrives at UN for her address to 71st #UNGA session
6:42 PM – 26 Sep 2016
186 186 Retweets 357 357 likes

18:50 PM
Earlier on Monday, Narendra Modi on Monday chaired a meeting to review the Indus Waters treaty with Pakistan amidst heightened tension between two countries. It is reported that PM Modi hit back strongly at Pakistan and said ‘blood and water cannot flow together’. According to reports, he also said ‘will maximise water usage under treaty.’ Quoting Water Ministry sources, ANI said, “Presentation was given to PM Modi about the implications for India-Pak. You will get to know soon whatever the government decides.” (Read: Modi says ‘blood and water’ can’t flow together)

18:41 PM
And before Sushma Swaraj speaks up here’s a message from her husband who wishes her all the best.

India will address United Nations General Assembly today at 7 pm IST. All the best. @sushmaswaraj

— Governor Swaraj (@governorswaraj) September 26, 2016

with agencies

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