The following is the Official reply made by the Indian Government via the First Secretary, Permanent Mission to the United Nations, to Nawaz Sharif’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly.
It is regrettable that the delegation of Pakistan has once again chosen to misuse the High Level Segment of the UN General Assembly Session to distort reality and portray a false picture of the challenges in our region.
Pakistan claims to be the primary victim of terrorism. In truth, it is actually a victim of its own policies of breeding and sponsoring terrorists. Seeking to mask its activities as though an outcome of domestic discontent in the Indian State of Jammu & Kashmir carries no credibility with the world.
It was stated that Jammu and Kashmir is under foreign occupation. It is, except that the occupier in question is Pakistan. In fact, India’s reservations about the proposed China-Pakistan Economic Corridor stem from the fact that it passes through Indian territory illegally occupied by Pakistan for many years.
Pakistan apparently regrets that the dispute over Jammu and Kashmir remains unresolved and that our dialogue has not progressed. If it is so, this is because Pakistan has chosen to disregard its commitments, whether it was under the 1972 Simla Agreement, the 2004 Joint Declaration forswearing terrorism, or more recently, the understanding between our two Prime Ministers at Ufa. On each occasion, it is India that has extended the hand of friendship. India remains open even today to engage Pakistan on outstanding issues in an atmosphere free of terrorism and violence.
Reference was made to ceasefire violations and exchanges of fire along the Line of Control and the International Boundary. The world knows that the primary reason for firing is to provide cover to terrorists crossing the border. It needs no imagination to figure out which side initiates this exchange.
It is not uncommon for states, when confronted with serious challenges, to shift responsibility on others. That is the case with Pakistan and terrorism, reflecting the inability to recognize that this is a home grown problem that has begun to bite the hand that fed it. We agree that terrorism has underlying causes – in this case, poverty of wisdom and ignorance of consequences.
The heart of the matter is a state that regards the use of terrorism as a legitimate instrument of statecraft. The world watches with concern as its consequences have spread beyond its immediate neighbourhood. All of us stand prepared to help, if only the creators of this monster wake up to the dangers of what they have done to themselves.