External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had extended a hand of friendship to Pakistan, but this was not reciprocated by the neighbouring country. She also described Pakistan as “the greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity”, in her address at the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Swaraj said that while India is engaged in fighting poverty, Pakistan “seems only engaged in fighting us”.
In 2015, then Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif had called for a renewed dialogue, but “he must answer why that proposal withered, because Pakistan is responsible for aborting that peace process”, she said.
Speaking in Hindi, Swaraj called terrorism “an existential danger to humanity”. “If Pakistan stops funding terror, the world will get rid of terrorism, and its own citizens will also benefit,” she said.
She also urged Islamabad to “look within” to realise why India was an IT superpower today, whereas Pakistan was recognised as the “pre-eminent export factory of terror”, despite the countries becoming independent around the same time.
The minister also reiterated India’s commitment to the 2015 Paris climate accord. She said that the recent hurricanes in the United States and the Caribbean Sea were not a mere coincidence, but a warning to world leaders before the UN General Assembly gathering.
Swaraj urged the developed world to support other countries through technology transfer and Green Climate Financing. She also called for “early reforms” in the United Nations Security Council and said it was an essential element to reform the international organisation itself.
Ahead of the speech, Swaraj had on Friday pointed out the rising number of threats endangering peace and stability in South Asia, in an apparent reference to Pakistan. She had said that regional prosperity, connectivity and cooperation can only take place in an atmosphere of peace and security.
“It is necessary for our region’s survival that we eliminate the scourge of terrorism in all its forms, without any discrimination, and end the ecosystem of its support,” the foreign minister said.
In her speech at the UNGA last year, days after the attack on an Army camp in Uri, Swaraj had then too hit out at Pakistan and insisted that the world needs to come together to call out nations that sponsor terror. She had said India had approached Pakistan without any conditions over the last few years, but “what did we get in return? Pathankot, Bahadur Ali, and Uri.”