Describing terrorism as the second existential threat to humanity, Sushma said “We imagined that the arrival of the 21st Century would bring with it an age of common good, defined by cooperation in the quest for peace and prosperity. But here in New York, the horrific tragedy of 9/11, and in Mumbai the catastrophe of 26/11 became the nightmares that shattered our dreams. The demon of terrorism now stalks the world, at a faster pace somewhere, a slower pace elsewhere, but life-threatening everywhere.”
“In our case, terrorism is bred not in some faraway land, but across our border to the west. Our neighbour’s expertise is not restricted to spawning grounds for terrorism; it is also an expert in trying to mask malevolence with verbal duplicity,” Sushma added.
“The most startling evidence of this duplicity was the fact that Osama Bin Laden, the architect and ideologue of 9/11 was given safe haven in Pakistan. America had declared Osama bin Laden it’s most dangerous enemy, and launched an exhaustive, worldwide search to bring him to justice. What America perhaps could not comprehend was that Osama would get sanctuary in a country that claimed to be America’s friend and ally: Pakistan. Eventually, America’s intelligence services discovered the truth of this hypocrisy, and its special forces delivered justice. But Pakistan continued to behave as if nothing had happened. Pakistan’s commitment to terrorism as an instrument of official policy has not abated one bit. Neither has its belief in hypocrisy. The killers of 9/11 met their fate; but the mastermind of 26/11 Hafiz Saeed still roams the streets of Pakistan with impunity,” Sushma said.
She further said, “What is heartening is that the world is no longer ready to believe Islamabad. FATF, for instance, has put Pakistan on notice over terror funding.”
Talking about the peace talks between India and Pakistan, Sushma Swaraj said, “We are accused of sabotaging the process of talks. This is a complete lie. We believe that talks are the only rational means to resolve the most complex of disputes. Talks with Pakistan have begun many times. If they stopped, it was only because of Pakistan’s behavior. There have been many governments in India, by many different parties. Each government has tried the peace option. Prime Minister Modi, by inviting the Heads of the SAARC nations, to his swearing in ceremony, began his attempt for dialogue on his very first day in office. On 9th December 2016, I personally went to Islamabad and offered a comprehensive bilateral dialogue. But soon after, Pak sponsored terrorists attacked our air force base in Pathankot on 2nd January. Please explain to me how we could pursue talks in the midst of terrorist bloodshed? Even now, after the new government came to power, the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan wrote to Prime Minister Modi suggesting a meeting between Foreign Ministers in New York. We accepted the proposal. But, within hours of our acceptance, news came that terrorists had killed three of our jawans. Does this indicate a desire for dialogue?” She added.
Sushma further said, “Time and again, Pakistan accuses India of human rights violations. Who can be a greater transgressor of human rights than a terrorist? Those who take innocent human lives in pursuit of war by other means are defenders of inhuman behavior, not of human rights. Pakistan glorifies killers; it refuses to see the blood of innocents.”
Slamming Pakistan for showing false photographs to prove human rights violation by India, Sushma said, “It has become something of a habit with Pakistan to throw the dust of deceit and deception against India in order to provide some thin cover for its own guilt. The United Nations has seen this before. Last year, Pakistan’s representative, using her right to reply, displayed some photographs as “proof” of “human rights violations” by India. The photographs turned out to be from another country. Similar false accusations have become a part of its standard rhetoric.”