NEW YORK: An escalation of hostilities between India and Pakistan over the killing of Indian policemen and a soldier and New Delhi’s decision to scrap a proposed meeting of foreign ministers sets the tone for bitter rhetoric at the UN General Assembly.
The UN General Assembly High Level week starts today and India and Pakistan are to speak on Saturday as part of the UN General Assembly debate. Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj will speak before Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
India’s Ambassador to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin, said on Sunday that “if somebody (Pakistan) else would like to be a one-trick pony, it is for them to regurgitate an act which we have handled many times in the past and are confident we will do so again.”
India called off the talks on the sidelines of the UNGA accusing Pakistan and its Prime Minister Imran Khan of “evil designs” after three policemen were kidnapped and killed by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir and over Pakistan’s move to release stamps glorifying terrorist Burhan Wani, who was killed by Indian security forces in 2016 in Kashmir.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vitriolic response, many believe, make the resumption of dialogue between the neighbours – suspended since 2015 – untenable.
“Disappointed at the arrogant and negative response by India to my call for resumption of the peace dialogue. However, all my life I have come across small men occupying big offices who do not have the vision to see the larger picture,” tweeted Imran Khan.
The tone and the choice of words left no doubt about Pakistan’s strategy for its UN speech.
Sources in the Ministry of External Affairs told NDTV that the talks were cancelled after a “part of the Indian government realized talks with Pakistan could be politically damaging”.
The 2019 national election is only about eight months away.
Dinesh Patnaik, Joint Secretary for the UN, Political, told the Indian media in New York: “We will raise the issue of cross-border terrorism at the Global Counter Terrorism Strategy meeting. You will have to wait to see what the External Affairs Minister says but yes, it is a concern for us always.”