New Delhi: Pakistan resorted to raising the Kashmir rhetoric at the United Nations again, a day after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj launched a scathing attack on the country for “exporting terrorism”.
Replying to Swaraj’s speech at the General Assembly, Pakistan said it was open for dialogue and called upon the world body to “define terrorism”, but at the same time sought to rake up tensions by again taking up the Kashmir issue and taking potshots at the BJP.
Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to UN Maleeha Lodhi said Swaraj belonged to a political party “which was accused of assassinating Mahatma Gandhi” and called the Indian Army’s presence in Jammu and Kashmir “illegal”.
“Jammu and Kashmir is not part of India and thus India’s military operation is illegal,” Lodhi said despite Swaraj’s reminder a day before that India and Pakistan had mutually decided in the 1972 Simla Agreement that both countries would not raise the issue at international or third-party forums.
Islamabad also accused New Delhi of “spreading terrorism” in Pakistan, saying “spy” Kulbhushan Jadhav was “sent” for this purpose. Jadhav is a former Indian Navy officer who has been sentenced to death by a military court in Pakistan on charges of “spying”, a claim India has rubbished at the International Court of Justice.
On Saturday, Sushma Swaraj had asked Pakistani leaders to introspect as to why India is recognised as a global IT superpower, while Pakistan is infamous as the "pre-eminent export factory for terror".
In her address to the 72nd UN General Assembly session, Swaraj accused Pakistan of waging a war against India and said a country that has been the world's greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity became a champion of hypocrisy by preaching about humanity from this podium.
She was referring to Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's speech on Thursday wherein he accused India of violating human rights and state-sponsored terrorism.
"I would like today to tell Pakistan's politicians just this much, that perhaps the wisest thing they could do is to look within. 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?" Swaraj asked.
India had ripped into Pakistan yesterday, describing it as "terroristan" and a land of "pure terror" that hosts a flourishing industry to produce and export global terrorism.
Speaking in Hindi for the second consecutive year at the annual UNGA session, Swaraj said India has risen despite being the principal destination of Pakistan's nefarious export of terrorism.
"There have been many governments under many parties during 70 years of Indian freedom, for we have been a sustained democracy. Every government has done its bit for India’s development," she said, highlighting India's achievements in the fields of education, health, space etc.
"We produced scientists, scholars, doctors, engineers. What have you produced? You have produced terrorists... you have created terrorist camps, you have created Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Hizbul Mujahideen and Haqqani network," she said, adding that 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.
(With PTI inputs)