Two nations, two narratives – “India sets up IITs and IIMs and Pakistan produces jihadis and set up terror organisations like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohamed.” Taking an expose of Pakistan to a new level on the global stage at the annual UNGA jamboree, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj launched a savage indictment of Pakistan for sponsoring and supporting terror against India and the region.
In her hard-hitting speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 23, Sushma Swaraj was at her acerbic best, launching a scathing criticism of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Abbasi’s address where he had accused India of perpetuating state-sponsored terrorism and human rights violations.
Look who’s talking?
“Those listening had only one observation: “Look who’s talking!” A country that has been the world’s greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity became a champion of hypocrisy by preaching about humanity and Human Rights from this podium,” she said at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly.
Intensifying her verbal assault on Pakistan’s double-speak and drawing the attention of the international community to two distinct narratives of India and Pakistan, Mrs Swaraj underlined that India has “marched ahead consistently without pause creating IIMs, IITs, AIIMS and in the fields of education, health, space and across the range of human welfare.
“Why is it that today India is a recognised IT superpower in the world, and Pakistan is recognised only as the pre-eminent export factory for terror? What is the reason for this have they ever thought? There is only one reason. India has risen despite the principle destination of Pakistan’s nefarious export of terrorism,” she said.
Terror versus Tech & Innovation
“We have marched ahead consistently without pause creatingIIMs, IITs, AIIMS and in the fields of education, health, space and across the range of human welfare.”
“We established scientific and technical institutions which are the pride of the world. But what has Pakistan offered to the world and indeed to its own people apart from terrorism? We produced scholars, doctors, engineers,” she said.
“They have produced terrorists and terrorist camps. Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Hijbul Mujahideen, Haqqani Network. We produce scholars, doctors, engineers, scientists. What did you make Pakistan? You created terrorists and Jihadis. And you know, Doctors save people from death; terrorists send them to death. Your terrorist organisations are not only attacking India but are also affecting our two neighbours, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.”
She hailed the “Right of Reply” that India exercised at the UNGA this year as a rare occasion that depicts India’s growing impatience with its neighbour. “If Pakistan had spent on its development what it has spent on developing terror, both Pakistan and the world would be safer and better-off today”, she said.
Going back to history, she questioned the legitimacy of the claim that Pakistan’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s foreign policy was based on “peace and friendship”. Referring to the Shimla Agreement and Lahore Declaration, the minister attacked the selective amnesia of the Pakistani establishment. “The reality is that Pakistan’s politicians remember everything, manipulate memory into a convenience. They are masters at “forgetting” facts that destroy their version”.
Pakistan’s deliberate attempt to stall the “Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue” at the 2015 Heart of Asia conference in Islamabad had received considerable flak and Mrs Swaraj made sure that she reminded the international community of Pakistan’s persistent attempts to abort the peace process.
Rattled Pakistan hits back
Predictably, Pakistan rebutted India’s allegations with vehemence. Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN Maheela Lodhi accused India of being a “predator” in South Asia. “If the international community wishes to avoid a dangerous escalation between India and Pakistan, it must call on India to halt its provocations and aggressive actions. It must end the ceasefire violations along the Line of Control. It must halt its sponsorship of terrorist groups against Pakistan,” Ms. Lodhi said.
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