Kashmir is integral to India, Pakistan in denial: India's foreign minister Sushma Swaraj at UNGA

Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj speaks at her second consecutive United Nations General Assembly Photograph:( WION )

WION United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY, United States Sep 26, 2016, 02.11 PM (IST)
India's foreign minister Sushma Swaraj once again raised the issue of state-sponsored terrorism emanating from Pakistan in her address at the 71st UN General Assembly on Monday.

Swaraj said that Pakistan remains in denial over the violations in Kashmir. She warned that Pakistan must remember that Kashmir is an integral part of India and will remain so. 

"Pakistan must abandon its dream to obtain territory it covets," Swaraj said to an applause.

Last week, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's stood at the same podium and accused the Indian government of atrocities in Jammu and Kashmir. Swaraj said such allegations were baseless and futile. 

She urged Pakistan to introspect and act against the brutality against the Baloch people by its own government. Swaraj said, "I can only say that those accusing others of human rights violations would do well to introspect and see what egregious abuses they are perpetrating in their own country, including in Balochistan. The brutality against the Baloch people represents the worst form of state oppression."

In a veiled attack on Pakistan, Swaraj asserted that an effective global strategy is needed to fight terrorism and ''any nation that refuses to join hands in this effort must be isolated internationally".

"These nations, in which UN designated terrorists roam freely, lead processions and deliver their poisonous sermons of hate with impunity, are as culpable as the very terrorists they harbour. Such countries should have no place in the comity of nations," said Swaraj.

The statement comes in the wake of the Uri terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir in which 18 Indian Army soldiers were killed. 

"Terrorism is undoubtedly the biggest violation of human rights. We must question who is behind these attacks, who benefits from such attacks, who finances them, who arms them and provides them sanctuary?" 
She called on the international community to unite across our differences to defeat terrorism, saying the fight against the global scourge cannot be won if distinctions are made between terrorists.

"History proves that those who seed extremist ideologies, reap a bitter harvest. The germ of evil has grown into a hydra-headed monster, backed by technological sophistication that threatens the peace and harmony of our world," Swaraj said.

Swaraj insisted that India is committed to rebuilding its relationship with its neighbour. The minister denied reports that India had put pre-conditions to holding talks with Pakistan, rather pushed for friendship as a basis to resolve issues. 

India asked the global community to urgently adopt a long-pending global treaty on terrorism as well as implement the UN Security Council reform, saying the world needs a more contemporary approach to combating terrorism and a Council that is less outdated.