United Nation’s Security Council (UNSC) had conducted two marquee events on counter terrorism and multilateralism and the event was held under the Presidency of India with India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Permanent representative of India to the UN Ruchira Kamboj holding the chair.
In the open debate on “Maintenance of International Peace and Security: New Orientation for Reformed Multilateralism” presided by Ruchira Kamboj, Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari raised the issue of Kashmir while addressing the UNSC’s success in multilateralism. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari pleaded to the council to act on the resolutions of the UN and implement them in the case of Kashmir, in addition to voicing out Pakistan’s opposition to include more permanent members at the UN who can wield the veto power, which he dubbed as undemocratic and authoritarian.
Both these remarks have irked India and when India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar took over the debate as the President, he strongly responded by saying “While we search for the best solutions, what our discourse must never accept is the normalization of such threats. The question of justifying what the world regards as unacceptable should not even arise. That certainly applies to state sponsorship of cross-border terrorism. Nor can hosting Osama bin Laden and attacking a neighboring Parliament serve as credentials to sermonize before this Council.”
Following this war of words between the two neighboring subcontinent nations, a question was put forth to Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Minister in a press conference held at the UN regarding India’s response. The Minister from Pakistan went on the offensive and criticized India heavily and alleged that India is responsible for aiding cross-border terrorism and blamed India for terror attacks and terror activities in Pakistan. He also pointed out that Osama bin Laden is dead but sharply attacked Narendra Modi as the butcher of Gujarat and he has even become the Prime Minister of India.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had also pointed out that Narendra Modi was not permitted to enter the United States of America for his alleged involvement in 2001 Gujarat riots. It is imperative to note that while responding to a controversy surrounding the granted immunity to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during his visit to the US, the US Government spokesperson responded that the Saudi Prince had been given immunity in similar fashion to the one given to Narendra Modi in 2014 among other world leaders on various occasions.
Bilawal’s sharp attack on Prime Minister Modi had caused an uproar in India and the country had witnessed widespread protests by the BJP in various parts of the country. Several leaders from all over the country and BJP party functionaries have condemned Bilawal Bhutto’s comments about Modi.
Pakistan, a country with CCC+ credit rating is on its last legs. This is what happens when it only focuses on exporting terrorism!
— K.Annamalai (@annamalai_k) December 16, 2022
Arindam Bagchi, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs had tweeted India’s response to the Bilawal’s attack which is described as ‘uncivilized.’ It also attacks Pakistan of harboring 126 UN sanctioned terrorists and 26 terrorist organizations.
— Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) December 16, 2022
Apart from responding to criticism of Modi as the “butcher of Gujarat”, we should also seriously consider other allegations made by the Pakistan Foreign Affairs Minister. He had alleged that India is responsible for promoting terrorist activities in Pakistan and blamed India for the 2021 terror attack in Johor Town, Lahore. It has been alleged by Pakistan that the terror accused in that incident is an Indian citizen and a R&AW agent. Apart from this allegation, India is being blamed for other terror related activities & insurgency in Balochistan.
In addition to countering Bilawal’s comments about Kashmir and addition of more permanent members to the UN General Assembly, which India is campaigning for, India should launch an immediate inquiry into Pakistan’s allegation, and it should be proven to the world that India does not harbor or promote terrorism, even if it is manifesting in Pakistan. Even if such elements are present in India, those should be surgically eliminated with special care, as India is looking to position itself as the superpower in the world and it should not take the allegation of “association with terrorism” as claimed by Pakistan lightly. India has the duty and responsibility to prove its mettle to the world which would also further its case for permanent membership in the UN.