NEW YORK: Lambasting Pakistan’s nefarious design on Jammu and Kashmir, Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on Monday advised Islamabad to abandon its dream of separating any part of India, saying “Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and will always remain so.”
“My firm advice to Pakistan is: abandon this dream. Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and will always remain so,” said Swaraj while addressing the United Nations General Assembly.
Responding to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s statements, made five days earlier, at the UNGA, where he accused India of “committing brutalities in the Kashmir Valley” and hailed Hizbul-Mujahideen terrorists Burhan Wani as “young leader”, Swaraj said “On 21st September, the Prime Minister of Pakistan used this podium to make baseless allegations about human rights violations in my country. I can only say that ‘jinke apne ghar shishe ke ho, unhe dusro par patthar nahi fekne chahiye. (those whose houses are made of glass should not throw stones at others). 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.”
Going hammer and thongs at Pakistan at the UNGA, Swaraj 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 has become their calling card. We must identify these nations and hold them to account. 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.”
Countering Pakistan PM’s accusation that India has placed pre-conditions for talks which are not acceptable to him, Swaraj asked: “What pre-conditions? 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?”
“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? And what did we get in return? Pathankot, Bahadur Ali, and Uri” she questioned.
She said Bahadur Ali is a terrorist in India’s custody, whose confession is a living proof of Pakistan’s complicity in cross-border terror. “But when confronted with such evidence, Pakistan remains in denial. It persists in the belief that such attacks will enable it to obtain the territory it covets. My firm advice to Pakistan is: abandon this dream. Let me state unequivocally that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and will always remain so,” she added.
Observing that this month the world marked the 15th Anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on this city and less than 15 days ago, another attempt at killing innocents was made through an act of terror in this same city, the minister said, “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.”
Calling upon the international community to acknowledge that terrorism is undoubtedly the biggest violation of human rights, Swaraj added, “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? We heard similar questions being asked by Afghanistan from this podium.”
She said 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. 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 added.
Noting that there is only one way to defeat terrorism that “we unite across our differences, add steel to our resolve and inject urgency in our response”, the EAM said, “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. 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.”