Will Pakistan acknowledge that it provides pension to listed terrorists? India's reply to Imran Khan at UNGA

Vidisha Maitra, First Secretary MEA, exercised India's right to reply to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's speech at UNGA. 

New Delhi: Vidisha Maitra, First Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), exercised India's right to reply to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Saturday. 

Maitra said that Khan's threat of unleashing nuclear devastation "qualifies as brinkmanship not statesmanship"and further asked if "Pakistan will acknowledge that it provides pension to listed terrorists?" 

India's right to reply comes after Khan in his maiden at the 74th UNGA session made an attempt to "sharpen differences and stir up hatred".

Maitra replied by saying, "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 today 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.

To Khan's claim during his address that "there are no militant organisations in Pakistan," Maitra said, the Pakistan PM has invited UN observer to show that there is no militant organisation, she said and asked, "Will Pakistan acknowledge that it is the only government in the world that provides pension to an individual listed by the United Nations in the Al-Qaeda and Daesh sanctions list?"

"Can Pakistan explain in New York, why Habib Bank had to shut its shop after it was found of terror financing? Will Pakistan deny Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has put the country on notice for its violations of more than 20 of the 27 key parameters? Would Pakistan deny that it was an open defender of Osama Bin Landen?" Maitra questioned.

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"Rarely has the General Assembly witnessed such misuse, rather abuse, of an opportunity to reflect. Words matter in diplomacy. Invocation of words such as 'pogrom', 'bloodbath', 'racial superiority', 'pick up the gunfight' till end reflect a medieval mindset and not 21st century vision," Maitra further said in reply to Khan's speech at UNGA. 

Even coming from a country that has monopolised that it has a value chain of the industry of terrorism, Khan's justification of terrorism was "brazen" and "incendiary."

"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.

During his speech, Khan warned of a nuclear war with India over the Kashmir issue. 

"If a conventional war starts between the two countries anything could happen. A country seven times smaller than its neighbour what will it do -- either surrender or fight for its freedom," he had said in his address at the UNGA.

"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 worry about where are we heading. If this goes wrong you hope for the best but prepare for the worst," Khan said. 

Taking a dig at Khan, Maitra at the UNGA said, "For someone who was once a cricketer and believed in the gentleman's game, his speech at the UNGA bordered on crudeness of the variety that is reminiscent of the guns of Darra Adam Khel".

Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Imran Khan had addressed the 74th session of the UNGA in New York earlier on Friday. While PM Modi spoke for around 17 minutes during which he said "India is a country, that has given the world, not war, but Buddha's message of peace", Khan continued his anti-India rant for more than half-an-hour.

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