India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) Syed Akbaruddin was prophetic in his words when a few days ago in response to a query on Kashmir, he said India will “soar high”, Pakistan may “stoop low”. He is a seasoned diplomat, who has for long been a part of the Indian establishment and has been closely dealing with Pakistan at the United Nations on various issues.
Thus, he knew exactly how things may unfold at the United Nations General Assembly on Friday when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan were to speak.
Modi’s speech — short, crisp and meaningful — was that of a statesman, a global leader with great appeal and vision, someone who inspired confidence and had the capability to ensure last-mile delivery. He did not take any names, either of any country or leader, least of all of Pakistan and Imran. It was not needed. He didn’t need to talk about Kashmir because it was an internal matter of India. His government had dealt with it with clarity and is dealing with its aftermath with a certain plan.
Whatever he chose to speak on the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A, on Pakistan (albeit without naming it), he spoke at length at 'Howdy, Modi' event in Houston before 50,000 Indian-Americans and in the presence of US president Donald Trump and a host of American lawmakers. He conveyed his message loud and clear.
At UNGA, Modi was talking to the world about issues concerning India and the global community, particularly developing and under-developed countries. "India is the land which gave Buddha (messenger of peace), not yudh (war). That is the reason why, our voice against terrorism, to alert the world about this evil, rings with seriousness and the outrage. We believe, that this is one of the biggest challenges, not for any single country, but for the entire world and humanity. The lack of unanimity amongst us on the issue of terrorism dents those very principles which were basis for the creation of the UN. I firmly believe that it is absolutely imperative that the world unites against terrorism and that the world stands as one against terrorism," Modi had said in his address to the UNGA Friday.
Now, contrast that with what Imran said: He spoke for 50 minutes, going over the stipulated 15 minutes, without caring about the constantly blinking red light that reminded him that he needed to wrap things up.
Imran, through that long speech at the dais, appeared tense, as if he knew he had failed in his endeavour to draw international support on Kashmir. He often contradicted himself but continued speaking as if he was making a last-ditch effort to tell his domestic audience that he tried hard, even as he impetuously told the world the worst kept secrets of Pakistan’s bankruptcy, about its army training Taliban in Afghanistan, how it fed on money from the West and offering a justification for radical Islamist terrorism.
It’s a commentary on him and advisors wisdom that about an hour after Modi eloquently spoke of “Buddha (peace) not yudh (war)”, Imran spoke of “picking up a gun” if he were in Kashmir.
Imran's speech, in which he attacked the prime minister of another country, does not behoove any Head of State.
Consider this: Imran named Modi 12 times in his speech and on another half a dozen occasions referred to him as “he”. He named India 19 times, RSS nine times, Kashmir 17 times, Pulwama three times (predicting more such terror attacks), picking up gun four times, onset of bloodbath in Kashmir four times, pushing for radicalisation in Kashmir six times. He was mostly wrong about RSS, including the uniform and the name of its founder, but to convince the audience that he was right he urged them at least twice to “google” it. BJP as an “ultra nationalist party” too found mention.
While one does not expect the prime minister of Pakistan to comport himself in such a manner at the biggest global forum. He should know that India under the Modi dispensation has the best of relations with almost all Islamic nations.
Modi as been honored with highest civilian award by several Islamic nation, including those by Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Afghanistan, UAE, Bahrain and some others. He received "The King Hamad Order of the Renaissance" by King of Bahrain and 'Order of Zayed', the UAE's highest civilian award in August end over a fortnight later, Parliament had defanged Article 370 and abolished Article 35A on Kashmir and bifurcated state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories.
As for Indian Muslims, Imran is grossly mistaken about their thoughts and beliefs. The biggest and most influential Muslim organisation, Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, with a membership of over one crore, publicly supported the Modi government’s move on Kashmir.
India, using its “right to reply” to Imran’s speech at UNGA said, “Rarely has the General Assembly witnessed such misuse, rather abuse, of an opportunity to reflect. Words matter in diplomacy. Invocation of phrases such as `pogrom’, `bloodbath’, `racial superiority’, `pick up the gun’ and `fight to the end’ reflect a medieval mindset and not a 21st Century vision."
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Updated Date: Sep 29, 2019 08:44:43 IST