UNITED NATIONS: India on Monday firmly told Pakistan to abandon its “dream” of obtaining Kashmir through terror attacks and asserted that it is an integral part of the country and will always remain so.
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, while addressing the 71st session of the UN General Assembly, said, “It (Pakistan) 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 said in her speech.
In a strong rebuttal of the “baseless allegations” made by Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif from the podium of the General Assembly about human rights violations by India in Kashmir, Swaraj said, “People living in glass house shouldn’t 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.”
Countering Pakistan’s claims that India has imposed pre-conditions on talks, Swaraj said India got the terror attacks of Pathankot and Uri “in return” for taking the initiative to resolve issues with Islamabad not on the basis of conditions but on friendship.
“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,” Swaraj said.
“And what did we get in return? Pathankot, Bahadur Ali, and Uri. Bahadur Ali is a terrorist in our custody, whose confession is a living proof of Pakistan’s complicity in cross-border terror,” she added.
Her speech came just over a week after 18 Indian soldiers were killed in a deadly attack by Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists from across the border on an army base in Kashmir’s Uri.
Swaraj asserted that terrorism deeply concerns every member of the UN General Assembly, with people from New York, Kabul, Uri and Istanbul bearing the brunt of the growing scourge.
“This month we marked the 15th Anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on this city. Tragically, less than 15 days ago, another attempt at killing innocents was made through an act of terror in this same city,” Swaraj said reffering to the bombings in Manhattan and New Jersey earlier this month.
“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,” she said.
Swaraj underlined that the international community must acknowledge that terrorism is undoubtedly the biggest violation of human rights and is a crime against humanity.
“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?” she said, adding that Afghanistan too had raised similar concerns on terror financing and safe havens from the UNGA podium.
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