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Swaraj's Pakistan-bashing Speech at UN Aimed at BJP Voters, Says Shashi Tharoor

Addressing the General Assembly on Saturday, Sushma Swaraj had lashed out at Pakistan for sponsoring terrorism and blamed it for the stalled dialogue process.

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Updated:September 30, 2018, 10:52 PM IST
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Swaraj's Pakistan-bashing Speech at UN Aimed at BJP Voters, Says Shashi Tharoor
File photo of Congress leader Shashi Tharoor.
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Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Sunday expressed his disappointment with external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly, saying the Pakistan bashing was aimed at voters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“We get the sense that everything is about the political environment in India. This was a speech aimed at BJP voters and sending a message to them, particularly on the subject of Pakistan rather than constructing a positive and constructive image of India in the world,” Tharoor said.

Addressing the General Assembly on Saturday, Swaraj had lashed out at Pakistan for sponsoring terrorism and blamed it for the stalled dialogue process.

“In our case, terrorism is bred not in some faraway land, but across our border. Our neighbour’s expertise is not restricted to spawning grounds for terrorism; it is also an expert in trying to mask malevolence with verbal duplicity,” she had said. "Pakistan's commitment to terrorism as an instrument of official policy has not abated one bit. Neither has its belief in hypocrisy,” Swaraj added.

She also took a dig at Pakistan for alleging that the process of talks was stalled because of India. “We are accused of sabotaging the process of talks. This is a complete lie. We believe that talks are only rational means to resolve the most complex of disputes. Talks with Pakistan have begun many times. If they stopped, it was only because of their behaviour,” she had said.

Relations between the two countries have been on the edge since India called off talks with Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi after three special officers were abducted and killed in Jammu and Kashmir, stressing that the neighbour “would not mend its ways”. Swaraj also snubbed Pakistan on the sidelines of the General Assembly when she left a meeting of the SAARC foreign ministers early, which was attended by Qureshi.

Pakistan has alleged that India's "domestic political and electoral compulsions" were behind New Delhi's reluctance to talk to the new government in Islamabad.
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