National Defence Bureau,
New Delhi, 24 September 2017
REPLY (STATEMENT) OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS MINISTER SUSHMA SWARAJ ON PAKISTAN IN UNGA
We Have IITs, IIMs, Pakistan Has LeT, JeM
We are completely engaged in fighting poverty; alas, our neighbour Pakistan seems only engaged in fighting us. On Thursday, from this dais, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khakan Abbasi wasted rather too much of his speech in making accusations against us. He accused India of State-sponsored terrorism, and of violating human rights. 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.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister claimed that his nation’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah had bequeathed a foreign policy based on peace and friendship. I would like to remind him that while it remains open to question whether Jinnah Sahab actually advocated such principles, what is beyond doubt is that India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has, from the moment he took his oath of office, offered the hand of peace and friendship. Pakistan’s Prime Minister must answer why his nation spurned this offer.
Prime Minister Abbasi has recalled old resolutions that have been long overtaken by events. But his memory has conveniently failed him where it matters. He has forgotten that under the Shimla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration India and Pakistan resolved that they would settle all outstanding issues bilaterally. 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 current Prime Minister spoke of a “Comprehensive Dialogue” between our two countries. I would like to remind him that on 9 December 2015, when I was in Islamabad for the Heart of Asia conference, a decision was made by his leader Mian Nawaz Sharif, then still Prime Minister, that dialogue between us should be renewed and named it a “Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue”. The word “bilateral” was used consciously to remove any confusion or doubt about the fact that the proposed talks would be between our two nations and only between our two nations, without any third-party present. And he must answer why that proposal withered, because Pakistan is responsible for the aborting of that peace process.
Mr PresidentI would like today to tell Pakistan’s politicians just this much, ask them that have they ever thought that India and Pakistan became free within hours of each other. 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. There have been many governments under many parties during 70 years of India’s freedom for we have been a sustained democracy. Every government has done its bit for India’s development. 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. 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.
In the history of UNGA it may be a first that a country asked for a right of reply and it had to answer to 3 countries. Does this fact does not depict the reality of their actions? 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.
Terrorism is at the very top of problems for which the United Nations is searching for solutions. We have been the oldest victims of this terrible and even traumatic terrorism. When we began articulating about this menace, many of the world’s big powers dismissed this as a law and order issue. Now they know better. The question is: what do we do about it?
We must all introspect and ask ourselves whether our talk is anywhere close to the action we take. We all in bilateral and multilateral discussions condemn this evil, and piously resolve to fight it in all our declaratory statements. The truth is that these have become rituals. The fact is that when we are required to fight and destroy this enemy, the self-interest of some leads them towards duplicity.
This has been going on for years. Although India proposed a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) as early as in 1996, yet two decades later the United Nations has not been able to agree upon a definition of terrorism. If we cannot agree to define our enemy, how can we fight together? If we continue to differentiate between good terrorists and bad terrorists, how can we fight together? If even the United Nations Security Council cannot agree on the listing of terrorists, how can we fight together?
Through you, with utmost sincerity, I would like to request this august assembly to stop seeing this evil with self-defeating and indeed meaningless nuance. Evil is evil. Let us accept that terrorism is an existentialist danger to humankind. There is absolutely no justification for this barbaric violence. Let us display our new commitment by reaching agreement on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism this year itself.