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Sushma Swaraj slams Pakistan at UNGA: 'Kashmir was, is and will be part of India'

In a powerful speech at the 71st United Nations General Assembly in New York, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj slammed Pakistan for being a terrorist haven. Hitting out at the Nawaz Sharif-led Pakistani government, Swaraj said that in exchange of friendship with the neighbouring country, India always got terrorism in return — in the form of Pathankot, Uri and Bahadur Ali.

In response to Pakistan's constant provocation that Kashmir is an international issue, Swaraj said, "Jammu and Kashmir is a part of India and will always remain a part of India."

In her rebuttal to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's speech at the UNGA, she used the proverb, "People living in glass houses should not throw stone at others" and said that brutalities against the people of Balochistan represent the worst form of oppression.

Referring to Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist, she said, "Bahadur Ali is a living example of Pakistan's cross border terrorism."

Swaraj appealed to the international community to join the fight against terrorism and said, "Terrorism is the biggest violation of human rights."

 Sushma Swaraj slams Pakistan at UNGA: Kashmir was, is and will be part of India

Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs for India, speaks during the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. PTI

"In our midst, there are nations that still speak the language of terrorism, that nurture it, peddle it, and export it. To shelter terrorists has become their calling card. We must identify these nations and hold them to account," she said.

In response to Sharif's allegation that "India posed unacceptable pre-conditions to engage in dialogue," Swaraj said, "We took the initiative to resolve issues not on the basis of conditions, but on the basis of friendship! We have in fact attempted a paradigm of friendship in the last two years which is without precedent." She said despite showing evidence of cross-border terrorism, Pakistan has remained in denial.

Swaraj called for the implementation of Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism and said, "We are unable to develop a norm under which terrorists shall be prosecuted or extradited. Therefore it is my appeal that this General Assembly acts with fresh resolve and urgency to adopt this critical Convention."

External Affairs Minister arrived in New York on 25 September for the UNGA.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Swaraj "for a firm, effective & fine articulation of a wide range of global issues."

You can watch her entire speech here:

After Sharif's vitriolic speech, all eyes were on Swaraj and her rebuttal. "The whole world and the entire nation" is waiting to hear from Swaraj, who will deliver India's "vision document" External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup had said ahead of her speech, reported PTI.

Earlier, India's envoy to the UN Syed Akbaruddin had said that terrorism is the "primary concern" for India as well as for nations across the world.

Earlier this week, while Sharif's tirade against India under right to reply, the Indian diplomatic mission at the UN was also point-blank and called the neighbouring country "Ivy League of terror".

Moreover, in a three-minute rebuttal, Indian diplomat Eenam Gambhir raised the possibility of Pakistan being guilty of war crimes for sponsoring terrorism as an instrument of state policy and ridiculed the country as the centre for terrorism education.

In his speech at the UN last week, Sharif conveyed to the world community that Pakistan accords martyr status to killed Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani and said, "The men, women and children come out to demand freedom everyday and Pakistan stands with the people of Kashmir."

The Pakistan prime minister also termed Wani as a symbol of the latest Kashmiri "Intifada." Playing the victim card, Sharif claimed Pakistan has gone the extra mile to ensure peace with India. However, "India posed unacceptable pre-conditions to engage in dialogue," he had said.

He also drew attention to the human rights violation in Kashmir and said that Pakistan will share dossier with the UN Secretary General on Indian brutalities in Kashmir and demanded demilitarisation of Kashmir.

Modi on Saturday had said India will totally isolate Pakistan in the international arena for "exporting terror". He further said that every nation holds one country responsible for terrorism that is providing a safe haven for terrorists.

"Terrorists should hear out clearly that India will never forget the Uri attack.... I want to tell the leadership of Pakistan that the sacrifice of our 18 jawans will not go in vain," Modi had said while addressing a public meeting in Kozhikode on Saturday.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Sep 27, 2016 01:18:54 IST