External affairs minister of India – Sushma Swaraj blamed Pakistan’s continued support of terror for stalled peace efforts between the subcontinental neighbours, and defended India’s record on human rights, saying there was no bigger transgressor of rights than terrorists. Pakistan “glorifies killers” and “refuses to see the blood of innocents,” she said.
Swaraj, who spoke in Hindi, said Pakistan’s commitment to terrorism as an instrument of official policy and “belief in hypocrisy” continues. She said, “The killers of 9/11 met their fate, but the mastermind of 26/11, Hafiz Saeed, still roams the streets of Pakistan with impunity, organising rallies and participating in elections.”
“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,” Swaraj said in her fourth address to the world body.
“Cruelty and barbarism are advertised as heroism. The country prints postage stamps glorifying terrorists,” she added in a tacit reference to Pakistan. “If we do not act now, we will have to deal with conflagration later.”
She blamed Islamabad’s continued support for terror for the failure of peace efforts between the two countries. “We are accused of sabotaging the process of talks,” she said, adding, “This is a complete lie.”
India wants talks as it believes they are the only way to resolve the most complex disputes. India has been trying to do so, irrespective of the party heading the government, she said.
Swaraj said India accepted Prime Minister Imran Khan’s offer of talks, and she was scheduled to meet her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi in New York on the sidelines of the General Assembly.
“But, within hours of our acceptance, news came that terrorists had killed three of our jawans,” she said. “Does this indicate a desire for dialogue?”