India has urged the United Nations to “isolate” its regional rival and nuclear-armed counterpart Pakistan if it continues to refuse to join the global fight against terrorism, noting that it was long past time to identify nations who sponsor and export terror.
The plea from India came soon after two top U.S. Republican lawmakers introduced a bill for the United States to officially list its current ally Pakistan as a state-sponsor of terrorism along with Syria, Iran, and Sudan.
[Indian] Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed on Saturday to mount a global campaign to isolate Pakistan. Last month U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged Pakistan to join other nations in fighting terrorism.
India has long accused Pakistan of backing militant groups operating in disputed Kashmir as well as of sending fighters to other parts of the country to carry out acts of violence. Pakistan denies the allegations.
On the final day of the UN General Assembly annual gathering of world leaders, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said Pakistan was complicit in “cross border terror,” later adding, “But when confronted with such evidence, Pakistan remains in denial. It persists in the belief that such attacks will enable it to obtain the territory it covets.”
My firm advice to Pakistan is: abandon this dream. Let me state unequivocally that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and will always remain so.
We need to forget our prejudices and join hands together to script an effective strategy against terror. And if any nation refuses to join this global strategy, then we must isolate it.
Pakistan’s relationship with its neighbor U.S.-backed Afghanistan has further deteriorated in recent months as well. The two countries have clashed along their mutual border and Pakistan has deported hundreds of thousands of Afghans, both legal and illegal, in just the last year.
Furthermore, Afghanistan has accepted military aid from India, to the ire of Pakistan.
Pakistan used to be part of India and since the division relations between the two nuclear powers has been tense.
In August, India accused “overlapping groups” of drug smugglers, criminals, and jihadists from Pakistan of trafficking “anti-India Muslim extremists, counterfeit currency and weapons” onto its soil.
Last week, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told world leaders at the UN India had put unacceptable conditions on mutual negotiations.
“What pre-conditions?” India’s Swaraj said on Monday. “We took the initiative to resolve issues not on the basis of conditions, but on the basis of friendship.”
In response, Pakistan’s UN Amb. Maleeha Lodhi described Swaraj comments as “a litany of falsehoods and baseless allegations.”
“For the Indian Foreign Minister to claim that her country has imposed no preconditions for talks with Pakistan is another flight from reality. India suspended talks more than a year ago, and has refused to resume these despite repeated offers from Pakistan,” added the Pakistani diplomat.