If there were to be an Indo-Pak impact index for the annual speeches at the United Nations General Assembly, the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s spirited takedown of the neighbouring country for being an “export factory for global terror” should be counted as the most impactful in the recent times. The tone and tenor of her rebuttal suggests a new sense of aggression in New Delhi’s policy towards Pakistan. The chill in bilateral relations, following a spurt in terror attacks in the strife-torn Kashmir valley, found a reflection in the fiery address that focused on exposing Islamabad’s emergence as the exporter of ‘havoc, death and inhumanity’ and sponsor of terrorism. The blunt and direct message delivered at the world body should help enhance India’s image globally and convince the international community about Pakistan’s duplicity on terrorism. What came out strongly from the address was the contrasting picture of the journey of the two countries since their birth and how strikingly different their impacts on the world have been; one that has made rapid strides in science and technology and the other emerging as an export factory of global terror. While India has marched ahead on the path of progress without a pause, creating IITs, IIMs and AIIMS and producing engineers, doctors and scientists, Pakistan has nothing to offer to the world except terrorism represented by the outfits like LeT, JeM and Haqqani network. Pakistani rulers need to introspect as to why India is a recognised IT superpower in the world and Pakistan seen only as the pre-eminent terror exporting factory.
Though India has been a victim of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism for decades, the global community had started appreciating its concerns only after 9/11. It is now widely recognised that Pakistan has become a global hub of terrorism with a majority of terror attacks across the world being linked to the country. The role of international community must be focused on reining in Pakistan which continues to be the single biggest threat to peace and stability in the region. As expected, Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, in his address earlier, raised the Kashmir issue and called for a special envoy to Kashmir. As pointed out derisively by Swaraj, the world reacted with a quip “look, who is talking” when Abbasi accused India of pursuing state-sponsored terrorism. For too long, Pakistan has used terrorism as an instrument of state policy while pushing for internationalising the Kashmir issue at every conceivable forum. However, the times have changed now and the global community is able to see through Islamabad’s duplicity on the issue. The talk of fighting terrorism should not be allowed to become mere ritualistic statements at international forums but should lead to joint action.