Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj takes on Pakistan in her speech at United Nations General Assemby
United Nations: In a takedown of Pakistan for its non-stop support to terrorism, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday dismissed Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's accusations of violating human rights, telling the United Nations General Assembly, "Look who is talking". "We are completely engaged in fighting poverty; alas our neighbour Pakistan seems only engaged in fighting us," Ms Swaraj said in a hard-hitting speech that took swipes at Islamabad for exporting terror that kills hundreds of people. Ms Swaraj also asked Pakistani leaders to introspect, reminding them that though both countries became independent at the same time, India is globally known as an IT superpower, and Pakistan, "as the pre-eminent export factory for terror".
Here are the top 10 points of Sushma Swaraj's speech
- "We set up IITs, IIMs, AIIMS and ISRO. What did Pakistan make? They set up Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Haqqani Network, Hizbul Mujahiddeen," said Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, who addressed the gathering of leaders from 193 countries for the second consecutive year. She spoke in Hindi.
- Naming the Pakistan PM twice in her 21-minute speech, Ms Swaraj told the UN meet where reproaches of other leaders are generally less personal, that a country that has been the world's greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity had become a champion of hypocrisy by preaching about humanity from this podium. The jibe was aimed at Pakistan Prime Minister, who had devoted much of his first address to accusing India of, what he called, was terror against Islamabad and "war crimes" in Kashmir.
- Sushma Swaraj also spoke about climate change and UN reforms. But before she outlined India's vision on these points, she took Pakistan to task for its support to terror.
- She had a word of advice for Pakistani politicians as well. "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 to a loud applause at the UNGA.
- Turning to world leaders at the UN meet, Ms Swaraj wondered how the world could fight terror together if there was no agreement on who the enemy was. If even the United Nations Security Council cannot agree on the listing of terrorists, how can we fight together?" she said, an oblique reference to China blocking India's request to blacklist Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar.
- Complimenting Ms Swaraj for delivering a "strong message" on the dangers of terrorism at the world meet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi described it an "incredible" and "insightful" speech. "She has made India extremely proud at the world stage," PM Modi tweeted.
- The Foreign Minister also reminded the world leaders to start reviewing the progress made in the 2030 sustainable development agenda decided in 2015. "If complacency defines the next 13 years, then we are in danger of losing control. We need a sense of urgency as well as unshakeable fortitude to take decisions that can avert catastrophe," she said.
- India had set the tone for Ms Swaraj's response when India exercised its right of reply to PM Abbasi's speech that caustically described Pakistan as a country whose counter-terrorism policy was to "mainstream and upstream terrorists" by either providing safe havens to terror leaders in its military town or protecting them with political careers -- a reference to Osama bin Laden.
- India has called Pakistan a geography synonymous with terror, Terroristan, or 'the land of pure terror', which had a flourishing industry producing and exporting global terrorism.
- Sushma Swaraj had earlier asked the BRICS grouping comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to condemn efforts, including by states, of using religion to sponsor terrorism against other nations.
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