Swaraj’s rebuttal at UN is apt & timely

Ms Swaraj’s reply was spot on and cutting

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj spoke pithily at the UN on Thursday on the Kashmir issue and Pakistan in response to the rather crude formulations presented by Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif the day prior from the same forum. But it is unlikely if Ms Swaraj’s home truths — presented in the form of a rebuttal to Pakistan’s mischief — will make any difference to the outlook and approach of the Pakistani military to which its politicians are per force wholly subservient.

The Islamised military has become more blasé than in the recent past as it is earning billions of dollars from the Americans — to supposedly help stabilise a post-Nato Afghanistan — and from China — to build roads and infrastructure, some of which is objectionably in the Indian territory of Kashmir under Pakistani occupation. In the acquiescence of two permanent members of the UN Security Council to its green-housing of regional and international terrorism, Islamabad has apparently come to believe that it has the licence to persist with its policy of proxy war against India (and Afghanistan).

Ms Swaraj’s appeal to the UN to no longer delay the passage of an international convention on terrorism in order to cut at the roots of elements that promote such ventures is timely and apt. The minister urged firm action against those who arm, aid and protect terrorism. This is a perfect description of Pakistani policy. But for all the platitudes that are mouthed, we should be aware that Washington (and its Western allies) have armed terrorists in Syria to meet their foreign policy goal of dislodging the current government there, and for years have resisted the Afghanistan government’s effort to have the Pakistan-promoted Taliban identified as practitioners of “terrorism”.

So, for the West, obliquely speaking, there are indeed “good” and “bad” terrorists, the same as Pakistan argues but a notion that India strongly rejects. For more than a quarter century, this country has been made a victim of foreign-bred terrorism as no other country has. The Pakistan PM spoke of his four-point programme to resolve what Islamabad dubiously calls the Kashmir dispute. This is a collection of the old mumbo-jumbo of demilitarisation, international observers, the voice of the people, and the fourth — an addition — of Indian forces withdrawing in Siachen, effectively without formal acknowledgement and marking out the ground position maintained by Indian and Pakistani forces respectively, even as terrorism continues unabated.

Ms Swaraj’s reply was spot on and cutting. She said the four points should be reduced to the single point of terrorism and that India would happily sit at the table to discuss bilateral matters. But we must take on board that Pakistan has in effect now jettisoned bilateralism and seeks to internationalise contentious issues without dealing with terrorism.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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