Asia

India’s response to Pak PM Imran Khan’s speech at UNGA: Full text

74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly General Debate
INDIA
Right of Reply
27 September 2019
Threat of unleashing nuclear devastation qualifies as brinksmanship, not statesmanship
Mr. President,
I take the floor to exercise Indias right of reply to the statement made by the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Every word spoken from the podium of this august Assembly, it is believed, carries the weight of history. Unfortunately, what we heard today from Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan was a callous portrayal of the world in binary terms. Us vs Them; Rich vs Poor; North vs South; Developed Vs Developing; Muslims vs Others. A script that fosters divisiveness at the United Nations. Attempts to sharpen differences and stir up hatred, are simply put – “hate speech”.
Rarely has the General Assembly witnessed such misuse, rather abuse, of an opportunity to reflect. Words matter in diplomacy. Invocation of phrases such as “pogrom”, “bloodbath”, “racial superiority”, “pick up the gun” and “fight to the end” reflect a medieval mindset and not a 21st century vision.
Prime Minister Khans threat of unleashing nuclear devastation qualifies as brinksmanship, not statesmanship.
Even coming from the leader of a country that has monopolized the entire value chain of the industry of terrorism, Prime Minister Khans justification of terrorism was brazen and incendiary.
For someone who was once a cricketer and believed in the gentlemans game, todays speech bordered on crudeness of the variety that is reminiscent of the guns of Darra Adam Khel.
Now that Prime Minister Imran Khan has invited UN Observers to Pakistan to verify that there are no militant organisations in Pakistan, the world will hold him to that promise.
Here are a few questions that Pakistan can respond to as a precursor to the proposed verification.

  • Can Pakistan confirm the fact that it is home to 130 UN designated terrorists and 25 terrorist entities listed by the UN, as of today?
  • Will Pakistan acknowledge that it is the only Government in the world that provides pension to an individual listed by the UN in the Al Qaeda and Daesh Sanctions list!
  • Can Pakistan explain why here in New York, its premier bank, the Habib Bank had to shut shop after it was fined millions of dollars over terror financing?
  • Will Pakistan deny that the Financial Action Task Force has put the country on notice for its violations of more than 20 of the 27 key parameters?
  • And would Prime Minister Khan deny to the city of New York that he was an open defender of Osama bin Laden?

Mr. President,
Having mainstreamed terrorism and hate speech, Pakistan is trying to play its wild card as the newfound champion of human rights.
This a country that has shrunk the size of its minority community from 23% in 1947 to 3% today and has subjected Christians, Sikhs, Ahmadiyas, Hindus, Shias, Pashtuns, Sindhis and Balochis to draconian blasphemy laws, systemic persecution, blatant abuse and forced conversions.
Their newfound fascination for preaching human rights is akin to trophy hunting of the endangered mountain goat – markhor.
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