At crossroads of UNGA
Reema Shaukat


FOR the past few weeks Pakistan remained usual target of Indian belligerent attitude where India took many U-turns. As the annual session of United Nations General Assembly is held at end of September every year where each member state gets a chance to speak about the challenges hindering global peace. This platform is not only a way to interact with representatives present there but a special chance for those countries who are experiencing threats and tough times and are particularly in war zone. India and Pakistan are two nuclear armed neighbours and their relationship is hop scotch since the beginning and often remains virulent. Indian policies are viewed as hostile not only for Pakistan but for region particularly where arms race, practicing Hindutva ideologies and implementing on other states by use of force and blame game continues with different tactics time and again.

India in response to Pakistan’s olive branch offer for peace among two nations accepted the meeting at the side-lines of the UNGA session. But the very next day, they created melodrama and backed out from dialogue offer by again putting a blame on Pakistan for a state sponsoring terrorism. India once more staged drama of surgical strikes on Pakistan and gave threats. As India already knew it will be exposed on the international platform of UNGA, hence to portray itself innocent it created hype. Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj on the 73rd session of UNGA blamed Pakistan for spreading terrorism in India. She said in her speech that, “After the end of the 20th Century, there was hope for peace in the 21st Century. But terror attacks like 9/11 (11 September, 2001 attacks on the US) and 26/11 (26 November, 2008 attacks in Mumbai) have disappointed us. Today, the monster of terrorism is progressing.”
While Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi made a historic speech not only in national language but superbly exposed the Indian face of terrorism in the region and provided his stance with facts, which made Indian FM to leave the platform without listening the complete discourse. Pakistani foreign minister began his speech with this reiteration that Pakistan will continue to strive for achieving the international goals in collaboration with the international community. Addressing the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, he said that Pakistan will continue to support the comprehensive reforms in the Security Council and wants to see it more democratic and transparent. He said that Pakistan has been an active member of the United Nations since its inception and is at the top of the list of countries, which participate in the peace keeping mission of the United Nations. He also stressed that Pakistan wants to have friendly relations with the neighbouring countries. However, exposing Indian resentments and blame game he openly narrated Pakistan’s stance at international forum. He said that Pakistan will never forget the mass murder of more than 150 children in the Peshawar school, the Mastung attack and many others that have links with terrorists supported by India. He also expressed his concerns on Indian response of preferring “politics over peace” while cancelling the proposed talks at the side-lines of the UNGA session. He very well raised the Kashmir issue at the session by saying the “unresolved dispute” is impacting achieving durable peace between India and Pakistan and remains a “blot on the conscience of humanity”. He also said Islamabad wanted a relationship with New Delhi based on “sovereign equality and mutual respect”. In his address he mentioned that “We seek resolution of disputes through a serious and comprehensive dialogue that covers all issues of concern”. He also warned India, saying if India ventures across the Line of Control, or acts upon its doctrine of “limited” war against Pakistan, “it will evoke a strong and matching response.”
It was because of this exposure at UNGA where India took U-turn and backed out from dialogue with Pakistan thus losing an opportunity for regional peace. India repeated mantra of surgical strikes just to divert world attention from atrocities it has been carrying out since decades in Indian held Kashmir. This year UN human rights report on Indian Occupied Kashmir has exposed Indian atrocities on poor Kashmiris and called for independent commission to carry out the investigations. India while denying the allegations continued with more brutality in Kashmir and to divert attention of media and rest of world it sought to blame Pakistan with surgical strikes. Pakistan has always tried to maintain cordial relations with all countries and particularly for regional peace it has always offered India, to initiate in peace processes and dialogues. The geo-strategic importance of South Asia holds a broader horizon in international politics. Though the interests of super powers cannot be over looked in the region but to have peace is the main objective for the long term stability in the area. With India always staying in its cocoon of non-acceptance of Pakistan, should accept the wishes of Kashmiris and stop human rights violations. India under the toxic influence of power and might in region, always keeps on stirring balance of power in region which is not good for long term sustainability in region. Therefore, unless the core issues between two nuclear neighbours are resolved, the dream of peaceful South Asia seems elusive.