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We made IITs, IIMs, you created LeT & JEM: Sushma Swaraj tears into Pakistan at UNGA

In a fiery UN speech, Sushma Swaraj urges Pakistan to introspect

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We made IITs, IIMs, you created LeT & JEM: Sushma Swaraj tears into Pakistan at UNGA
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj giving final touches to her speech before she spoke at the UN General Assembly
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In her indomitable style laced with powerful expressions, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj ripped apart Pakistan on Saturday, while urging the comity of nations to accept terrorism as an existentialist danger to the humankind and to commit to adopt India's draft on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) by this year.

Addressing the 72nd session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), in chaste Hindi, Swaraj identified violent extremism, climate change, maritime security, refugee crises, unemployment, gender injustice, nuclear proliferation, and cyber security as main challenges confronting the humanity.

Complimenting Swaraj for delivering a "strong message" through the "incredible" and "insightful"speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: "She has made India extremely proud at the world stage."

Congress thanked Swaraj for stating hard facts and giving a befitting reply to those who ask what happened in the last 70 years. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjeewala said: "Swaraj mirrored the yeoman's progress India made under the Congress rule."

Carrying forward India's efforts to isolate Pakistan diplomatically, Swaraj drew the attention of the UNGA President, Slovakia's Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcák, to the fact that while India was engaged in fighting poverty, its neighbour Pakistan was engaged only in fighting India.

Slamming Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khakan Abbasi's Thursday speech, she urged their politicians to introspect.

She pointed out that while both countries got their independence at the same time, India progressed by establishing scientific and technical institutions that are the pride of the world, while Pakistan nurtured only terrorist organisations.

"While India made institutes such as IIT, IIM, and AIIMS, Pakistan created terror groups such as LeT, JeM, Hizbul Mujahideen, and the Haqqani Network. The reality is that Pakistan's politicians remember everything, manipulate memory according to convenience. They are masters at forgetting facts that destroy their version," she said.Swaraj further said the Pakistani PM's accusation that India was involved in state-sponsored terrorism and violation of human rights was laughable. "Those listening had only one observation: Look who's talking! A country that has been the world's greatest exporter of havoc, death, and inhumanity has become a champion of hypocrisy, preaching about humanity from this podium," she said.

She then asked the Pakistani PM to answer why his nation spurned the offer of peace and friendship extended by Indian PM Narendra Modi.

Swaraj, who arrived in New York last Sunday, spent a major part of the morning giving final touches to her speech. A large number of Indian expatriates, along with Minister of State M J Akbar, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, and Indian Ambassador to the US Navtej Sarna had flown there for her speech at the UNGA.

While a major portion of the speech was devoted to terrorism and Pakistan, Swaraj also reminded the UN about its duty to eradicate poverty and its millennium development goals. "In 2015, we set ourselves a target of 2030 to find solutions to many challenges on this agenda. Two of these years have passed already. Surely, it is already time to ask how much has happened. If complacency defames the next 13 years then we are in danger of losing control. We need a sense of urgency as well as unshakeable fortitude to take decisions that can avert catastrophe," she said.

She also identified steps taken by India and counted schemes such as Jan Dhan, Mudra, Ujjwala, Skill India, Digital India, Clean India, Start-Up India, and Stand-Up India, committed to sustainable development goals. She further hailed demonetisation, describing it a courageous decision to challenge corruption, and claimed that black money has disappeared from circulation. Mentioning the Goods and Services Tax (GST) legislation, Swaraj said the untidy and punishing system of multiple taxes under differing categories in different parts of the country has been done away with.

Referring to China and the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) countries without mentioning their name, she reminded that the India's draft on CCIT was pending before the world body since 1996, for want of consensus on definition of terrorism.

"We all condemn this evil, and piously resolve to fight it in all our declaratory statements. The truth is that these have become rituals. The fact is that when we are required to fight and destroy this enemy, self-interest of some leads them towards duplicity," she said.

Swaraj agreed that the draft has got stuck as some quarters don't agree with the definition of terrorism. "If we cannot agree on how to define our enemy, how can we fight together? If we continue to differentiate between good terrorists and bad terrorists, how can we fight together? If even the United Nations Security Council cannot agree on the listing of terrorists, how can we fight together?" she asked.

After touching on the issues of climate change, UN reforms, peace keeping, but surprisingly not mentioning the current Rohingya crises in Myanmar, she ended her speech by turning to a Sanskrit verse, which roughly translated means "May all be happy; May all be healthy; May all see what is good; May all be free from suffering."

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