While India’s Minister for External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj, gears up to address the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the rising mercury of the Indo-Pak tension over Kashmir and the latest Uri attack is anticipated to see a riveting finale as far as India’s point of view on the matter is concerned.
Reaching New York to participate at the 71st UNGA meeting on Sunday, Swaraj and the delegation from India announced that India’s turn to address the assembly comes third after Oman and Bahrain. It is likely to begin around 1930 hrs IST (1400 hrs GMT). India now seems to have lost its patience after repeated peace dialogues with Pakistan bearing no fruit. As a response to the speech by Pakistan Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, at the UNGA last week, where he held India responsible for the strike at Uri army base camp in Kashmir, Swaraj’s speech is expected to strike the iron while it’s hot. Kashmir, terrorism and unscrupulous cross firing in the Indo-Pak borders will no longer be taken lightly, Eenam Gambhir, India’s first secretary in the permanent mission to the UN had elucidated in her earlier statements when he called Pakistan as the ’Ivy League of terror.’
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The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, in his speech addressing Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) national council meet at Kozhikode in Kerala, a southern state in India, condemned the Uri attack in strongly-worded message. While the general debate at UNGA’s 71st session is ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ and a ‘universal push to transform our world’, it is quite evident that issues of international security and neutralising terrorism threats all over the world is the most crucial need of the hour. As PM Modi urges the citizens of Pakistan to question their government, the stage is set for Swaraj to make the world aware of why repeated efforts in terms of peace dialogues have failed to make Pakistan take adequate measures to quash the breeding grounds of terrorism within its territory.
UNGA webcast trending
Swaraj’s speech at the UNGA has evoked a lot of interest around the globe, especially in India and the United States. The 3 million-strong Indian diaspora in the United States could well make her speech as one of the most viewed LIVE webcasts in the recent history of USA, relegating the likes of Trump-Clinton debates.
While the world looks at the Kashmir issue as a burning example of violation of peace, Modi’s speech clip from Kozhikode garnered over 500,000 views and more than 3,000 shares by Sunday evening. Eenam Gambhir’s speech at the UN has over 130,000 views and 2,500 shares on Facebook by the same time. The curiosity in the online and offline mediums regarding this much-awaited speech could well see a huge audience trying to decipher the implications and future plan of action from India’s perspective. Thus, Swaraj’s speech at the UNGA is being seen as one of the most imperative international discourses in terms of Indo-Pak tensions in the recent times.
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She went ahead stating that India is striving hard to fight poverty, gender equality, safety and security for its citizens and also plans to improve the country as a major investment hub. She also spoke about India’s efforts in tackling the impending challenge of climate change. She assured that India will continue to play a leading role in fighting climate change in the future. However, when she started responding to the allegations made by Pakistan PM against India, she made sure that the world knows which is the only country that has been at the forefront for sponsoring terrorism since the very beginning. She urged the world’s leading nations to come forward and take a severe step against the countries that have maintained their stance as safe shelters for terrorism groups.
In her dramatic speech at the UN General Assembly, Sushma Swaraj pointed out the recent condition of Balochistan in Pakistan and said, “Those who dwell in glass houses should not throw stones at others!” She added, “If Pakistan thinks that actions like these will help them in dividing Kashmir from India, they are very wrong.” She put it firmly that Kashmir remains India’s integral part and will continue to do so.”
Watch Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs for India, addresses the general debate of the 71st Session of the General Assembly of the UN (New York, 20-26 September 2016) here: