‘Let Pak stoop low, we’ll soar high’ En­voy To UN Shringla: J&K pros­per­ity Ak­barud­din will hit Pak ter­ror fac­tory Out­lines PM’s Fo­cus At UNGA

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Nation - TNN & AGEN­CIES

New Delhi: While In­dia has said that ter­ror is go­ing to be just one of the sev­eral is­sues on Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s agenda at the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly, the gov­ern­ment is likely to come back hard at Pak­istan on the same is­sue if the lat­ter in­deed raises Kash­mir­re­lated de­vel­op­ments there.

Syed Ak­barud­din, In­dia’s per­ma­nent rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the UN, said if Pak­istan stooped low, In­dia would soar high with its re­sponse. “What you’re telling me is that it will be more of the same, much more of the same from the side of one coun­try. If that is so what is our re­sponse? So let me put it this way. It is for ev­ery coun­try to de­ter­mine its tra­jec­tory of how it wants to

—Syed Ak­barud­din

ap­proach global plat­forms. There may be some who stoop low. Our re­sponse to them is — we soar high. They may stoop low, we soar high,” he said.

Ak­barud­din was asked whether he ex­pected the Kash­mir is­sue to come up dur­ing the UNGA ses­sion, and, if so, how In­dia will tackle it.

Pak­istani PM Im­ran Khan has vowed to raise the is­sue at the UNGA in New York on Septem­ber 27. Modi is also sched­uled to speak the same day.

Pak­istan’s for­eign min­is­ter Shah Mah­mood Qureshi has said Khan will “force­fully” raise the is­sue be­fore the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity dur­ing his UNGA ad­dress.

Ak­barud­din also laid out Modi’s pri­or­i­ties when he ar­rives for the 74th UNGA ses­sion. He said a plethora of pluri­lat­eral and bi­lat­eral en­gage­ments of the PM out­line the ex­am­ples of how In­dia will soar. “What they want to do is their call. We’ve seen them main­stream ter­ror in the past. And what you’re now telling me is they may want to main­stream hate speech. It’s their call, if they want to do that. Poi­son pens don’t work for too long,” he said. New York: The prospect for a more pros­per­ous J&K and Ladakh fol­low­ing the ab­ro­ga­tion of Ar­ti­cle 370 “cuts the ground be­neath the feet of Pak­istan”, a coun­try whose “fin­ger­prints” are on ter­ror strikes across the world, In­dian am­bas­sador to the US Harsh Vard­han Shringla said on Thurs­day.

In a hard-hit­ting opin­ion piece in New York Times, Shringla said Pak­istan has a “vested in­ter­est in pre­vent­ing pros­per­ity in J&K, and in the Ladakh... be­cause a weak econ­omy fu­els sep­a­ratist sen­ti­ments in some quar­ters”.

“This fits into Pak­istan’s larger strat­egy of us­ing ter­ror­ism as a po­lit­i­cal tool. This is a coun­try... that was home to Osama bin Laden in his last days. So it also op­poses the re­peal of Ar­ti­cle 370, which le­git­imised dis­crim­i­na­tion and hin­dered eco­nomic progress,” Shringla said in re­sponse to an op-ed pub­lished by Pak­istani PM Im­ran Khan in the US daily re­cently.

Over the past few weeks, the se­nior In­dian diplo­mat said, the world has seen a “plethora of com­ments” from Khan and se­nior of­fi­cials of his gov­ern­ment paint­ing an apoc­a­lyp­tic pic­ture of In­dia’s re­or­gan­i­sa­tion of J&K. “Clearly, this prospect for a more pros­per­ous J&K, and Ladakh, cuts the ground un­der the feet of Pak­istan. Its PM claims he of­fered to work for peace, progress and pros­per­ity with In­dia. What he does not say is that the assem­bly line of ter­ror­ists that is a ma­jor in­dus­try of his coun­try con­tin­ues with­out pause,” Shringla said.

He said that the Pak­istani PM has “ev­ery right to run his own econ­omy into the ground. But his de­ter­mi­na­tion to in­flict sim­i­lar dam­age on the prov­ince of a neigh­bour­ing coun­try must be chal­lenged by the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity”.

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