United Nations: India on Sunday tore into Pakistan over Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s preposterous statement at UN that terrorists behind the 2014 Peshawar school massacre were supported by New Delhi. Denouncing Qureshi’s claim, Eenam Gambhir, an Indian diplomat, told the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA),”The despicable insinuation made by the Foreign Minister of Pakistan (Shah Mahmood Qureshi) dishonors the memory of the innocent lives lost to terrorists that day. It is a desperate attempt to look away from the monster of terror that Pakistan itself has created in its quest to destabilise neighbours and covet their territory.” Notably, Gambhir made the remarks while exercising India’s right of reply.
She also reminded Imran Khan-led new Pakistan government that there was an outpouring of sorrow and pain in India after the 2014 Peshawar attack. “Let me recollect for the new government of Pakistan the outpouring of sorrow and pain in India that followed the massacre of innocent children in 2014. Both houses of India’s Parliament had expressed solidarity while paying respect to the memory of those killed (and) schools all over India had observed two minutes of silence in their memory,” Gambhir said.
The Indian diplomat added that the allegation was a “desperate attempt” to look away from the monster of terror Pakistan has created in its quest to destabilise its neighbours and covet their territory. (Full Text of Sushma Swaraj Speech at 73rd UN General Assembly)
Reacting to Pak Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi terming India calling off of talks on “filmsy grounds”, Eenam Gambhir said, “New Foreign Minister of Pak chose to term the gruesome killing of our security personnel by Pak sponsored terrorists as flimsy grounds. While it may not be the case for Pakistan, for India every loss of life counts.”
India also raised questions at Pakistan for letting designated terrorists such as Hafiz Saeed enjoy a free run in Pakistan. “Can Pakistan deny that it’s the host and patron of 132 of the UN designated terrorists and 22 terrorist entities sanctioned under the 1267 and 1988 UN Security Council Sanctions regime as of today?
Gambhir also lambasted Qureshi for raking up the issue of Kashmir, saying,”India is making it clear to the “new government” of Pakistan that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is and will remain an integral part of India.”
Pak FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s ‘Preposterous’ Allegations
Gambhir’s reaction comes after Qureshi tried to portray Pakistan as a victim of terrorism and alleged that terrorists behind the 2014 Peshawar school attack were “supported” by India. The Pak FM had said,”Pakistan will never forget the mass murder of more than 150 children in the Peshawar school, the Mastung attack and many others that “have links with terrorists supported by India.” Qureshi spoke at the General Assembly after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had delivered a scathing attack on Islamabad for promoting terrorism in the region and warning the world of a conflagration if it did not act against the sponsors and protectors of terrorists.
Qureshi also claimed that his country wanted to sit with India to discuss all issues, including terrorism, that have created violence in cities and towns, and have led to tens of thousands of casualties. Pakistan also brought up the issue of Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian national who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in April last year on charges of espionage and terrorism.
UN Chief Welcomes India’s Role in Addressing Peace
Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres welcomed India’s role in addressing peace and security challenges. He also voiced concern over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir while encouraging “positive dialogue” to resolve the disagreements peacefully.
Guterres, who will begin a three-day visit to India on Monday, sid the planning and implementation of acts of terrorism transcend borders and it is the responsibility of all the States to take action to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism.
In an email interview to news agency PTI, Guterres said,”The threat of radicalisation, violent extremism, and terrorism continues to persist and even grow in many parts of the world. Modern-day terrorists are savvy in both technology and social media, successfully exploiting contemporary tools to propagate the narrative of hate and violence to recruit young people and raise funds.”
Sushma Swaraj’s Fiery Speech at UNGA 2018
Earlier on Saturday, External Affair Minister Sushma Swaraj launched a blistering attack on Pakistan and accused the neighbouring country of glorifying killers and turning a blind eye towards ‘blood of innocents’. “The country prints postage stamps glorifying terrorists. If we do not act now, we will have to deal with conflagration later,” the foreign minister had said, while delivering her speech at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly. Notably, Swaraj was referring to Islamabad releasing postage stamps ‘glorifying’ slain Kashmiri militant Burhan Wani, who was gunned down in an encounter with Indian security forces in July 2016.
Swaraj also rejected the notion that India is sabotaging peace talks with Pakistan, terming it ‘a complete lie’. “Time and again, Pakistan accuses India of human rights violations. Who can be a greater transgressor of human rights than a terrorist? Those who take innocent human lives in pursuit of war by other means are defenders of inhuman behaviour, not of human rights,” she told the global leaders .