India to Pakistan: There’s only one point, give up terror for talks

UNITED NATIONS: Hitting back at Pakistan in the United Nations, India sent home a strong message to Pakistan to give up terror if it wants to resume talks with India. In a hard-hitting speech at the UN on October 1, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj lashed out at Pakistan saying it must give up terror if the two countries must sit down and talk.

In his speech at the UN on September 30, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had proposed a four-point peace initiative with India. In her pointed rebuttal, Mrs Swaraj was at her aggressive best. “We do not need four points, we need just one – give up terrorism and let us sit down and talk.” Stating that this was what was precisely discussed between the Prime Ministers of the two countries in Ufa in July, Ms Swaraj reiterated the need for holding talks at the level of National Security Advisors on all issues connected to terrorism and an early meeting of our Directors General of Military Operations to address the situation on the border. India is ready to address all outstanding issues through a bilateral dialogue if Pakistan’s response is serious and credible, stressed Ms Swaraj.

Speaking about the challenges India faces in its relations with Pakistan, Ms Swaraj said, “None of us can accept that terrorism is a legitimate instrument of statecraft. The world shared our outrage at the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks in which citizens of many nations were helplessly butchered. That the mastermind behind the attack is walking free is an affront to the entire international community.” The recent cross border terror attacks in Gurdaspur and Udhampur were cited as instances of new attacks having taken place while Pakistan has also failed to honour its past commitments. The terror attacks are meant to destabilise India, and legitimize Pakistan’s illegal occupation of parts of the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir and its claim on the rest of it, said Sushma Swaraj.

Underscoring the need to have a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT), Ms Swaraj spoke about how it can no longer be held up nor can we be held hostage seeking to define terrorism. India has been pushing for the implementation of CCIT since 1996 when it first proposed the idea in the UN. “Member states must undertake their obligations to investigate and prosecute those who are alleged to have supported terrorism,” Ms Swaraj said.

Apart from Pakistan Ms Swaraj also spoke about the need for UNSC reforms, sustainable development, empowering the girl child, international peace and security. Speaking about the UNSC reforms, for which India is a front runner to secure a permanent membership in an expanded Security Council, India’s foreign minister stressed on including more developing countries in the decision making structure of the UNSC and change the way it does business. Imparting more legitimacy and balance to the Council would restore its credibility and equip it to confront the challenges of our times, she said.  

Highlights

  • Talks and terrorism cannot go hand in hand
  • We do not need four points, we need just one – give up terrorism and let us sit down and talk.
  • The world shared our outrage at the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks in which citizens of many nations were helplessly butchered.
  • Member states must undertake their obligations to investigate and prosecute those who are alleged to have supported terrorism.
  • If we are to preserve the centrality and legitimacy of the UN as the custodian of global peace, security and development, the reform of the Security Council is its most urgent and pressing need. This is the need of the hour.

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