New Delhi: In a befitting reply to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech on Friday at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), India while exercising its right of reply said Khan’s threat of unleashing nuclear devastation qualifies as brinkmanship.
“PM Imran Khan’s threat of unleashing nuclear devastation qualifies as brinkmanship, not statesmanship,” Vidisha Maitra, first Secretary Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Saturday.
Referring to Imran Khan’s invite to UN observers to verify that there are no militant organisations in Pakistan, Maitra asked: “Can Pakistan PM confirm that it is home to 130 UN-designated terrorists and 25 terrorist entities listed by the UN?”
During his UN speech, Imran Khan suggested that nuclear-armed Pakistan may not have much of a choice if a conventional war were to break out between Pakistan and India which he described as a country seven-times its size. “What choice would I have… I will fight,” he said.
“My belief is we will fight and when a nuclear-armed country fights till the end it will consequence far beyond the borders. I am warning you. It’s not a threat but worries about where are we heading. If this goes wrong you hope for the best but prepare for the worst,” Khan said.
In a sharp riposte to Khan’s speech, Maitra asked: “Will Pakistan acknowledge that it is the only government in the world that provides pension to an individual listed by the UN in the Al-Qaeda and Daesh sanctions list?”
First Secretary MEA Vidisha Maitra said that Pakistan’s “virulent reaction” over the abrogation of Article 370 depicts that “those who thrive on conflict never welcome the ray of peace”.
She said, “I take the floor to exercise India’s right of reply to the statement made by the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Every word spoken from the podium of this august Assembly, it is believed, carries the weight of history.”
“Unfortunately, what we heard from Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan was a callous portrayal of the world in binary terms. Us vs Them; Rich vs Poor; North vs South; Developed Vs Developing; Muslims vs Others. A script that fosters divisiveness at the United Nations. Attempts to sharpen differences and stir up hatred are simply put – hate speech,” she continued.
While Pakistan representative was seen carefully taking notes, Maitra addressed Prime Minister with his full name, Imran Khan Niazi.
“Pakistan’s virulent reaction to the removal of an outdated and temporary provision that was hindering development and integration of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir stems from the fact that those who thrive on conflict never welcome the ray of peace,” she added.