SEPTEMBER 30, 2018
Soon after Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi blamed New Delhi for 2014 Peshawar school attack, India strongly hit back calling it a preposterous allegation.
Exercising right to reply, Indian diplomat Eenam Gambhir at the United Nations (UN) said, “The despicable insinuation made by Pakistan foreign minister dishonours memory of innocent lives lost to terrorists that day. It’s a desperate attempt to look away from the monster of terror that Pakistan itself created in its quest to destabilise its neighbours and covet their territory.”
In his UNGA address, Qureshi blamed India for the terror attack in Peshawar in 2014 that killed more than 150 children. “Pakistan continues to face terrorism financed and orchestrated by India. It shall never forget the mass murder of more than 150 children in a Peshawar school, the terrible Mastung attack and others that have links with terrorists supported by India,” Qureshi said.
Taking note of this statement, India, in its reply, reminded the new Pakistan government of Imran Khan that there was an outpouring of sorrow and pain in India following the massacre of children in 2014.
Gambhir said both Houses of India’s Parliament had expressed solidarity while paying respects to those killed.
“Schools all over India had observed two minutes of silence in their memory. The despicable insinuation made by the foreign minister of Pakistan dishonours the memory of the innocent lives lost to terrorists that day,” Gambhir said.
Gambhir also took a dig at Qureshi’s emphasis on a new Pakistan under Khan, saying while the Indian delegation had come to listen to Pakistan’s new foreign minister outline the vision of a new Pakistan, “what we heard is a New Pakistan cast in the mold of old”.
Gambhir tore into Pakistan’s claim that it has turned the tide against terrorism, saying a fact-check of this claim will give a different picture.
She asked if Pakistan can deny the fact that it is the “host and patron” of 132 of the UN-designated terrorists and 22 terrorist entities listed under the UN Security Council Sanctions regimes.
“Will Pakistan deny that the UN-designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed enjoys a free run inside Pakistan and spews venom and sets up candidates for electoral offices,” she said.
Earlier, writing to the president of UNGA, India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Syed Akbaruddin said India is “constrained to take the floor to exercise [its] ‘right to reply’ to reject the baseless allegations made by the foreign minister of Pakistan”.
In her address to the UNGA, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also did not mince her words in attacking Pakistan and held Pakistan responsible for harbouring terrorists. She said Pakistan is a country that “glorifies” terrorists and “refuses to see blood of innocents”.
“[In case of India], terrorism is not bred in some faraway land, but across our border [in Pakistan]. Our neighbors expertise is not restricted to spawning grounds for terrorism; it is also an expert in trying to mask malevolence with verbal duplicity,” Swaraj told the world body.
Talking about India’s decision to call off foreign minister-level talks with Pakistan, Swaraj said, “We are accused of sabotaging talks. This is a complete lie. We believe that talks are the only rational means to resolve complex disputes. Talks with Pakistan started many times. If they were stopped, it was only because of Pakistan’s behavior.”
Courtesy: India Today / PTI