Stop state-sponsored terrorism in Kashmir: India tells PakistanBy Arun Kumar, IANS
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
UNITED NATIONS - In a sharp response to Pakistan’s Kashmir rhetoric, India Wednesday asked Islamabad to stop its state-sponsored terrorism in “an integral part of India” instead of trying to impart “lessons on democracy and human rights”.
“Pakistan must fulfil its solemn commitment of not allowing territory under its control to be used for terrorism directed against India,” Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said in his address to the UN General Assembly.
“Credible and firm action by Pakistan against terrorist groups operating from its soil is in the interest of the region as it is in Pakistan’s own interest,” he said.
“Pakistan cannot impart lessons to us on democracy and human rights,” Krishna said.
India shared deep-rooted concerns of many countries “about the growth and consolidation of militancy and terrorism in Pakistan,” he said responding to Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s call Wednesday for “self-determination through plebiscite” for the people of Kashmir.
“We share these concerns, particularly because Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral part of India, is the target of such Pakistan-sponsored militancy and terrorism.”
Noting that as neighbours India and Pakistan have an obligation to work together, Krishna said: “If, however, Pakistan were to live up to its commitment not to allow use of its soil by terrorists acting against India, this would significantly help reduce the trust deficit that impedes the development of better bilateral relations between our two countries.”
“We are neighbours, and as neighbours, we have an obligation to work together.”
Peace and stability in South Asia is one of India’s highest priorities, and it was “committed to good neighbourly relations with all our neighbours, including Pakistan”, Krishna said.
Noting that terrorism has emerged as one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, Krishna said: “There can be no justification for terrorism just as there can be no good and bad terrorists.”
He urged member states to display the necessary political will to finalise and adopt the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
In his address, Krishna also talked about the expansion of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), climate change, nuclear disarmament and Afghanistan.
The UN needs urgent reform to reflect contemporary realities and to effectively meet emerging global challenges, Krishna said, noting the changes in the global geo-strategic order since 1945 have barely been reflected in the UN Security Council.
The council spends most, if not all of its time, on issues pertaining to the developing world. Developing countries contribute almost all the troops to UN peacekeeping efforts worldwide, he said. “Yet, their voice on the Council’s high table on decisions relating to international peace and security is barely audible.”
Noting there was an overwhelming clear support for expansion in both the permanent and the non-permanent categories of the Council along with an improvement of its working methods, Krishna said it was imperative to take inter-governmental negotiations on Security Council reform to an early and logical conclusion.
The General Assembly, as the chief deliberative, policy making and representative organ of the UN, must set the global political, economic and social agenda, he said.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)