India and Pakistan have disputes which date back to the time of the mutual founding of both states in the wake of the anti-imperialist struggle in South Asia and the Partition of India.
The long-running crisis surrounding Jammu and Kashmir is not just a geo-political point of contention but along with the Civil War in Myanmar and the Israel-Palestine conflict, is the longest running such dispute on the modern political map.
Against this background, the words of caution that many world leaders offered Donald Trump in respect of his audacious threats and insults against North Korea, could have and should have also been directed to Sushma Swaraj, India’s Minister of External Affairs who delivered her country’s address to the United Nations.
After touting India’s achievements, including a very dubious set of statement’s on women’s rights in India, which if anything have become more problematic in the wake of the recent rape epidemic in the country, Sushma Swaraj turned to Pakistan.
Here she offered insult after insult to not just the government of Pakistan but to its people and its political/spiritual founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Among the insults included a statement saying that all Pakistan produces is terrorism, that somehow Pakistanis are stupid people because according to the Indian Minister, they do not export doctors but only terrorism and that Pakistan is not a legitimate democracy.
Such remarks can be construed as being more insulting than Donald Trump’s crude “rocket man” remark which was directed to Kim Jong-Un. While Donald Trump’s threats of war against North Korea, Iran and Venezuela were certainly the most troubling aspect of this year’s General Assembly opening, the statements from Sushma Swaraj were by far the most rude.
Below is the entire segment of the speech dedicated to insulting Pakistan:
14: 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 Statesponsored
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 hjqDocrisy by preaching about humanity from this podium.
15: 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.
16: 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 tiiat Pakistan’s politicians
remember everything, manipulate memory into a convenience. They are
masters at “forgetting” facts that destroy their version.
17: 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 that peace process.
18: 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-eihinent export factory for terror?
19: 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. We have marched ahead, consistently, without pause, in
Education, Health 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. What have you
produced? You have produced terrorists. Doctors save people from death;
terrorists send them to death. 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”.
The reality is that India has gone out of its way to deprive the people of Jammu and Kashmir of their basic human rights while having the audacity to engage in seemingly endless border disputes with both Pakistan and China. These disputes date back to the years which precede the Korean War.
Pakistan’s economy is headed for a boom thanks to local reforms and intense cooperation in China’s One Belt–One Road which has resulted in the building of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. India by contrast, is in the midst of a monetary crisis that has been exacerbated by Premier Modi’s vanity projects which are designed to send a statement of defiance to China, even though the real statement amounts to little more than India would rather waste money trying to compete with China than make money by cooperating with its neighbours.
While Donald Trump’s remarks got the world’s attention, the remarks of India’s Minister for External Affairs are perhaps even more shameful.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.