External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, in a powerful speech at the UNGA 2018, spoke a number of topics, including the schemes and programmes launched by India under the leadership of PM Modi to the terrorist activities by Pakistan.
She started her address with the various policies launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the unprecedented social and economic development of the Indian society. Dealing with the problems of poverty and social transformation, the EAM spoke about Jan Dhan Yojana, Ayushman Bharat Yojana, Skill Development Programme, Ujjawala scheme Maternity and Benefit Scheme.
Talking about the future plans for the Modi government, Sushma Swaraj discussed about the various schemes that PM Modi has planned to initiate in the country by 2022. “In 2022, free India will be 75 years old. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pledged to build a New India by then," she added.
Sharing her concerns over the environmental issues prevailing in the country, the External Affairs Minister emphasized on the need for the developed countries to extend their financial and technical help to the developing and underdeveloped nations.
“Under-developed and developing nations are the worst victim of climate change. They have neither the capacity nor the resources to meet this crisis. Those who have exploited nature for their immediate needs cannot abdicate their responsibilities. If we have to save the world from the adverse effects of climate change, then developed nations must lift the deprived with financial and technical resources,” she said.
Sushma Swaraj, a few minutes into her speech, divulged into the most important topic pertaining India -- Terrorism and Pakistan. She slammed Pakistan for extending its support to the masterminds of terrorist attacks, giving special attention on 9/11 attack in US and 26/11 attack in India.
“Osama Bin Laden, the architect and ideologue of 9/11 was given safe haven in Pakistan. America had declared Osama bin Laden it's most dangerous enemy, and launched an exhaustive, worldwide search to bring him to justice. What America perhaps could not comprehend was that Osama would get sanctuary in a country that claimed to be America's friend and ally: Pakistan. Eventually, America's intelligence services discovered the truth of this hypocrisy, and its special forces delivered justice. But Pakistan continued to behave as if nothing had happened. " the EAM added. However, Sushma Swaraj expressed her concern over the brain behind the 26/11, Hafiz Saeed who “still roams around the streets of Pakistan with impunity”.
Denying the fact that India does not want to initiate communication with Pakistan, Sushma Swaraj further went onto add that talks with Pakistan have begun many times. However, the only thing the stopped India was Pakistan’s behaviour.
“There have been many governments in India, by many different parties. Each government has tried the peace option. Prime Minister Modi, by inviting the Heads of the SAARC nations, to his swearing in ceremony, began his attempt for dialogue on his very first day in office”, she said.
Finally, instigating a blistering attack on Pakistan, Sushma Swaraj spoke about the recent barbaric attacks on the three Indian officers in Kashmir, questioning the need for a dialogue with Pakistan.
Calling out Pakistan for glorifying terrorists, the External Affairs Minister emphasized that “cruelty and barbarism are advertised as heroism” in Pakistan. “The country prints postage stamps glorifying terrorists. If we do not act now, we will have to deal with conflagration later,” she added.
Sushma Swaraj highlighted on the importance of UN as an institution for the growth and development of the world. “It is time to wonder if we are wandering towards the fate of the League of Nations. The United Nations must accept that it needs fundamental reform. Reform cannot be cosmetic. We need change the institution's head and heart to make both compatible to contemporary reality,” she said.
Quoting Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite bhajan, Sushma Swaraj talked about the Father of the Nation and the celebration of his 150th birth anniversary. She said, “This year India will celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The Mahatma's favourite bhajan was "Vaishnav Jan to tene Kahiye". The essence is deeply moving and quintessentially important: He who understands the pain of another, and absorbs it as his own, is a good human being. He who sees this pain, and helps without becoming arrogant, is a good human being.”
Further prioritizing on the greater good of the less-developed countries, Sushma Swaraj concluded by saying, “We have to understand the pain of other nations, and work with developed nations to ease and eliminate this pain. Arrogance has no place in our scheme of things; arrogance is counter-productive and self-defeating. Let us work for the benefit of the less fortunate. Let us work for a world where there is peace, serenity and shared prosperity; a world that is free from terrorism, tension and violence."
In the past sessions of the United Nations General Assembly, India has opened up about the need for communication with Pakistan. However, with the increasing vicious attacks on the Indian soldiers on the border by the terrorists, it seemed to be the need of the hour to speak up in the matter.