The UN honoured Mahatma Gandhi’s message of ‘ahimsa’ by marking his birthday as World Non-violence day, yet on this day that one fact that continues to bother Governments world over is terrorism, Violence! In that context perhaps, Sushma Swaraj’s speech at UN on Thursday is particularly interesting. It was a very focussed and pointed hit at Pakistan at the UN By India’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj against the acts of terrorism it continues to support. Hurling a direct attack at Nawaz Sharif’s 4-point peace agenda, Swaraj said that, “We do not need four points, we need just one – give up terrorism and let us sit down and talk.” She added that “terrorists do not have a religion.”
Needless to mention the Indian Prime Minister praised Swaraj’s bold tone at the UN speech and this perhaps one of the very pertinent proofs of the fact that India is finally de-hyphenating itself from Pakistan in the global arena.
Not only was she direct in her criticism of the Pakistani aid to terrorists but also clearly outlined the lacuna on the global front while dealing with acts of terrorism in developing nation. In her own words, “The international community should make countries aiding, arming and protecting terrorists pay a heavy price. None of us can accept that terrorism is a legitimate instrument of statecraft.” Referring to the heinous attacks in Mumbai in 2008, she further added that, “the mastermind behind the attack is walking free is an affront to the entire international community.”
This verbal attack was predominantly in reply to Pakistan’s Nawaz Sharif’s allegation on Wednesday that India is ‘fomenting instability’ and expressed its reservation about the economic corridor between Pakistan and China passing through Indian territory illegally occupied by Kashmir.
Given the current state of affairs in the region and UN’s apathy about not addressing most issues that isn’t harming its backyard, Sushma Swaraj’s this speech not only highlights the hypocrisy of the Pakistani Govt but the UN as well. Globally too the strategic positioning of India and the multi-pronged perils of terrorism that it faces on a regular basis, mostly abetted by her neighbour has been observed with a rather tinted glass.
With this bold stance, India not just managed to stand out in the crowd of nay-sayers but also take its fight against one of the greatest scourges of modern times, terrorism on a bigger platform. It took the UN 15 years to define terrorism and yet there are differences. On the question on how long it will take to actually tackle it, well your guess is as good as mine!