New York, Sep 28: Strongly hitting back at Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech at the UN General Assembly, India has said its citizens do not need anyone else to speak on their behalf and “least of all those who have built an industry of terrorism from the ideology of hate”.
Khan delivered his maiden speech at the 74th UN General Debate on Friday and in his almost 50-minute address, devoted much of his time to Kashmir, highlighting the ongoing clampdown in the valley.
India exercised its right of reply to the statement made by Khan later on Friday and fielded its newest diplomat at its mission at the UN to rebut the allegations made by former Pakistan cricket captain.
“Every word spoken from the podium of this august Assembly, it is believed, carries the weight of history. Unfortunately, what we heard today from Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan was a callous portrayal of the world in binary terms. Us vsThem; Rich vs Poor; North vs South; Developed Vs Developing; Muslims vs Others. A script that fosters divisiveness at the United Nations. Attempts to sharpen differences and stir up hatred, are simply put—‘hate speech’,” First Secretary in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN VidishaMaitra said.
Maitra said that rarely had the General Assembly witnessed such “misuse, rather abuse”, of an opportunity to reflect.
“Words matter in diplomacy. Invocation of phrases such as “pogrom”, “bloodbath”, “racial superiority”, “pick up the gun” and “fight to the end” reflect a medieval mindset and not a 21st century vision.”
“Pogroms, Prime Minister Imran Khan Niazi, are not a phenomenon of today’s vibrant democracies,” she said.
“We would request you to refresh your rather sketchy understanding of history. Do not forget the gruesome genocide perpetrated by Pakistan against its own people in 1971 and the role played by Lt Gen AAK Niazi. A sordid fact that the Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh reminded this Assembly about earlier this afternoon.”
Maitra said Khan’s “threat of unleashing nuclear devastation qualifies as brinksmanship, not statesmanship.”
“Even coming from the leader of a country that has monopolised the entire value chain of the industry of terrorism, Prime Minister Khan’s justification of terrorism was brazen and incendiary,” she said.
“Citizens of India do not need anyone else to speak on their behalf, least of all those who have built an industry of terrorism from the ideology of hate,” she said.
Maitra added that after having “mainstreamed terrorism and hate speech”, Pakistan is trying to play its wild card as the new-found champion of human rights.
In his address, Khan had invited UN Observers to Pakistan to verify that there are no militant organisations in Pakistan.
Maitra said the world would hold him to that promise. She said a few questions that Pakistan could respond to as a precursor to the proposed verification, is that would Khan “deny to the city of New York that he was an open defender of Osama bin Laden?
“Can Pakistan confirm the fact that it is home to 130 UN designated terrorists and 25 terrorist entities listed by the UN, as of today?
“Will Pakistan acknowledge that it is the only government in the world that provides pension to an individual listed by the UN in the Al Qaeda and Da’esh Sanctions list!
“Can Pakistan explain why here in New York, its premier bank, the Habib Bank, had to shut shop after it was fined millions of dollars over terror financing?
“Will Pakistan deny that the Financial Action Task Force has put the country on notice for its violations of more than 20 of the 27 key parameters?”
Khan, who was once a cricket player, and “believed in the gentleman’s game, today gave a speech that “bordered on crudeness of the variety that is reminiscent of the guns of Darra Adam Khel”.
She said Pakistan is a country that has shrunk the size of its minority community from 23 per cent in 1947 to 3 per cent today and has subjected Christians, Sikhs, Ahmadiyas, Hindus, Shias, Pashtuns, Sindhis and Balochis to draconian blasphemy laws, systemic persecution, blatant abuse and forced conversions.
“Their newfound fascination for preaching human rights is akin to trophy-hunting of the endangered mountain goat–markhor,” she said.
“Pakistan’s virulent reaction to the removal of an outdated and temporary provision that was hindering development and integration of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir stemmed from the fact that those who throve on conflict never welcomed the ray of peace,” Maitra said.
Asserting that while Pakistan has ventured to “upstream terrorism and downstream hate speech” there, India is going ahead with “mainstreaming” development in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The mainstreaming of Jammu and Kashmir, as well as Ladakh, in India’s thriving and vibrant democracy with a millennia-old heritage of diversity, pluralism and tolerance is well and truly under way. Irreversibly so,” she said.