World focussed on combating terror, Pakistan isolated on Kashmir: Syed Akbaruddin


Pakistan’s months-long efforts to internationalise the Kashmir issue at the UN have not found any resonance with nations at the world body that are focuser on combating the growing scourge of terrorism, a top Indian diplomat has said.

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin said that what is finding resonance among the international community is the terror threat that India is facing and not what Sharif focussed on his speech – the issue of Kashmir.

“If 131 nations have spoken in the General Debate so far, 130 have not referred to the primary issue that Pakistan has raised. So what does that mean,” he told reporters on Friday.

He said “90 per cent” countries that have spoken at the high-level week of the 71st UN General Assembly session have stressed that terrorism is a primary concern for them, adding that India is gratified by the support it is getting with countries increasingly standing up and voicing their support to deal with the menace of terrorism.

Akbaruddin pointed out that in the plethora of bilateral meetings and multilateral engagements that Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar held on the sidelines of the General Assembly session, “there was resonance” of India being a victim of terrorism and of solidarity with it.

“The resonance of India being a victim of terrorism, India tackling terrorism diligently has gone way beyond distance. In all bilateral meetings, including with Sri Lanka, there has been resonance and immediate response” on the attack on the army base in Uri, he said.

Citing the example of Akbar’s meeting with leaders of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), bloc geographically far from India, the envoy said the participants in that meeting expressed their solidarity with India over the Uri attack and voiced concern over the rise of terrorism.

He said during the meeting of SAARC foreign ministers, Akbar raised the issue of terrorism and how India is countering that. The minister thanked all those who expressed support and condolences to India on the tragic Uri incident.

Adviser to Pakistan Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz had attended the SAARC meeting.

When asked if the ministers from India and Pakistan had any exchange at the meeting, Akbaruddin said the meeting was a luncheon and “they were all at the table”.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, “the whole world and the entire nation” is waiting to hear from External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who will deliver India’s national address at the UNGA on 26 September.

Swarup did not elaborate on elements of Swaraj’s address but said “you can expect a continued focus from India on the theme of terrorism which is today undoubtedly the single biggest challenge to international peace and security.”

Swaraj is expected to give a stinging response to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s UNGA speech, in which he focused elaborately on Kashmir.

(With PTI inputs)