Shahid M Amin
INDIAN External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj made a vicious attack on Pakistan at the UN General Assembly on September 23, 2017. She asked: “Why is it that today India is a recognised IT superpower in the world, and Pakistan is recognised only as the pre-eminent export factory for terror? What has Pakistan offered to the world and indeed to its own people apart from terrorism? We produced scholars, doctors, engineers. They have produced terrorists and terrorist camps: Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad, Hizbul Mujahideen, Haqqani network.” Sushma also criticized Pakistan Prime Minister Abbasi’s speech in General Assembly who had accused India of state-sponsored terrorism and violating human rights. She said: “Look who is talking! A country that has been the world’s greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity became a champion of hypocrisy by preaching about humanity and human rights.”
Outrageous and hateful as Sushma’s remarks are, a considered reply should be given based on facts. Her ignorance of facts and history is manifest. Yes, Pakistan has had terrorism, but that is mainly the legacy of two invasions of Afghanistan: by the Soviet Union in 1979 and by US in 2001. In the first case, the whole world was supporting the Afghan Jihad against foreign military occupation. India alone was aiding the puppet Karmal. In that war, Jihadis were funded and trained by CIA and Europe, but after the Soviet withdrawal they were branded as terrorists. In the second case, the US invasion of 2001 was itself the provocation that fanned Islamist extremism and terrorism. Its main fallout was in Pakistan where 70,000 people lost their lives. Thus Pakistan has been the victim of terrorism and not its author.
Sushma shows ignorance by listing an Afghan group, Haqqani network, as Pakistani terrorists. She is blind to the fact that Pakistani armed forces launched the largest military operation against terrorists and cleared them out from inaccessible areas eg Miramshah where an international cricket match was watched recently by thousands in conditions of peace and security. This is what Pakistan has achieved in curbing terrorism. It is India which is today patronizing terrorists who are using Afghan sanctuaries to attack Pakistan. India has plotted terrorism in Baluchistan and Sindh, a fact openly admitted by Indian National Security chief Doval. Indian naval officer and RAW agent Kulbhushan Yadev is in Pakistani jail and has confessed conducting subversion in Balochistan for several years.
The international media daily reports Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir where pellet guns have blinded hundreds of innocent civilians. This is state terrorism. For decades, India has trampled over UN Security Council resolutions demanding self-determination for people of Jammu & Kashmir. It has shown no respect for democracy, human rights and international legality. Indeed, India has blood on its hands for two horrendous genocides of Muslims in 1947 carried out in East Punjab (India) and in Jammu. India has never respected Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence. He was murdered by an RSS party member. RSS is today the patron party in India: Prime Minister Modi is a lifelong RSS member.
Modi was Chief Minister Gujarat when Muslims were massacred in 2002. He was blacklisted by US and European governments. Under Prime Minister Modi, Muslims have been lynched by fanatical Hindu mobs for eating beef, a sin in ‘secular’ India. Though they number 200 million, Indian Muslims are systematically ill-treated and marginalized. They constitute 20% of UP’s population, but no Muslim was elected on ruling BJP ticket. Christians and lower-caste Hindus have also been degraded. On 7 October 2017, BBC cited Walk Free Foundation that 20 million Indians are still living as slaves. This is happening in the 21st century in India’s sham democracy.
In foreign policy, since 1947, India has acted like a predatory power and used force to settle disputes with smaller neighbours. It did so in 1948 in Kashmir, Junagarh and Hyderabad. It invaded Goa in 1961 and was condemned by Security Council. But Indian Ambassador at UN declared that “Charter or no Charter, India would do what was in its national interest”. India invaded Pakistan in 1965 and 1971. Sikkim was occupied by force in 1975. This is ‘peaceful’ India’s track record.
As to what has been achieved by Pakistan, here are some facts. The UN World Happiness Report of March 20, 2017 shows that out of 155 countries, India ranked 122 whereas Pakistan ranked 80, the happiest country in South Asia. Pakistan has a higher standard of living than India. The poorest in India look like skeletons, sleep on pavements and are treated as sub-humans. In Pakistan, no one goes barefoot or in rags. Dr. Abdus Salam and Malala Yousafzai won Nobel Prizes. Pakistani poets like Faiz and Faraz are among the best. India has not produced a single comparable poet. Big advances have been made in education and gender equality. Arfa Karim, aged nine, was the world’s youngest computer prodigy. Women hold top positions in many professions. Pakistani news media is vibrant and free.
Pakistan has produced great singers e.g. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Mehdi Hasan. They are adored by millions in India itself. Pakistani TV drama is second to none. Pakistan has won world championships in cricket, hockey, squash and wrestling. It introduced innovations in cricket like reverse swing. Pakistan ranks among the world’s top ten producers of wheat, rice, sugarcane, cotton, onion, milk, dates, mangoes and citrus fruits. Pakistan is one of the top military powers and the only Muslim state with nuclear capability. It is more than a match for the numerically superior India. These, Sushma Swaraj, are some of Pakistan’s achievements.
— The writer served as Pakistan’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Soviet Union, France, Nigeria and Libya.
Shahid M Amin