NEW DELHI: India asked Pakistan on Saturday to consider why after gaining Independence together 70 years ago, India was an IT power and produces engineers and doctors while Pakistan churns out jihadis who are a threat to the world.
Responding to Pakistan PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi‘s charge of “atrocities” in Jammu and Kashmir, foreign minister
Sushma Swaraj told the UN General Assembly+
that if Pakistan used its resources to stamp out terrorists in its territory the world would be rid of the scourge of terrorism.
“Whereas we produce IITs and IIMs, you (Pak) have produced LeT and Jaish-e-Muhammed. We have produced doctors and scientists, you have churned out terrorists and jihadis. While a doctor saves lives, jihadis kill,” she said.
Swaraj said while Pakistan continues to plumb new depths of barbarism, it has the gumption to preach humanity to India.
Her response was another bitter exchange between India and Pakistan, with Swaraj following up the strong description of the neighbour as “Terroristan” by saying Islamabad has rebuffed all Indian initiatives to normalise and improve bilateral ties.
She took a dig at the international community too for first failing to recognise terrorism as a global threat and dismissing it as a “law and order” problem and also for continuing to quibble over the the definition of terrorism.
The minister also exhorted China to drop its opposition to Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar being designated as a global terrorist. She used the UN platform to laud PM Modi’s signature initiatives — from Jan Dhan to demonetisation, which she called a courageous and bold initiative to argue that successive governments had worked for further development in contrast to Pakistan.
“We are completely engaged in fighting poverty; alas, our neighbour Pakistan seems only engaged in fighting us,” she said.
Swaraj, who has come in for praise for making MEA and embassies accessible by using social media, signed off by quoting PM’s favourite shloka “Sarve bhavantu…
Swaraj’s address came a day after India called Pakistan “Terroristan” in response to Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s claims of human rights violations in areas of Jammu and Kashmir. In its reply, India’s first secretary to the United Nations, Eenam Gambhir, said Pakistan had no right to raise the Kashmir issue on international forums. India further described Pakistan as a “failed state”.
Reminding the UN+
that even after two decades it was yet to adopt the Comprehensive Convention for International Terrorism, Swaraj said, “We all condemn this evil, and piously resolve to fight it in all our declaratory statements. The truth is that these have become rituals.”
On Friday, Swaraj had only one bilateral meeting with US secretary of state Rex Tillerson during which she raised the issue of terrorism and H-1B visas.
They also discussed strengthening of the US-India political and economic partnership.
In all, the foreign minister had as many as 27 bilateral meetings with her foreign counterparts.
Swaraj attended 12 multilaterals and two trilateral meetings.
“Our goals are broad. They are global in nature. Some of them are inspirational. There are some of them where we are working for several years and there are some where we hope to have an outcome this year,” Syed Akbaruddin, India’s permanent representative to the UN, told Indian reporters.