External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj hitting out at Pakistan at the United Nations General Assembly on Monday in reply to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s address to the UNGA last week evoked praise from various quarters. However, the Congress expresed disappointment.
Ms. Swaraj asked the world community to hold countries that “nurture, peddle and export” terrorism to account, taking forward India’s campaign to diplomatically isolate Pakistan. A unified global strategy can defeat terrorism, “and if any nation refuses to join this global strategy, then we must isolate it,” she said, speaking in Hindi.
Countering Mr. Sharif, who had accused India of human rights violations, at the UN last week, Ms. Swaraj sought to turn the table on Islamabad. “The brutality against the Baloch people represents the worst form of State oppression,” she said, referring to the ethnic minority in Pakistan.
Firm, effective & fine articulation: PM
“Congrats to EAM @SushmaSwaraj for a firm, effective & fine articulation of a wide range of global issues at UNGA,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted shortly after Ms. Swaraj delivered the address.
Daring voice of Indian pride: AAP
The Centre received praise from unexpected quarters as the AAP lauded Ms. Swaraj, calling her a “daring voice of the Indian pride.”
“Sushma ji presented India’s viewpoint very well at UNGA. Congratulations to her,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said.
AAP’s Overseas Convenor Kumar Vishwas termed her speech historic and a befitting reply “tearing apart Pakistan’s false propaganda.”
He asked Mr. Sharif to try and understand the realities that Ms. Swaraj spoke about in her address to the world.
Terming Ms. Swaraj one of the finest orators in Indian politics, Mr. Vishwas went on to call her the “daring voice of Indian pride“.
Mr. Vishwas also praised Ms. Swaraj for speaking extempore in Hindi rather than restricting herself to delivering a pre-written English speech, an apparent dig at Mr. Modi’s earlier speech in United Nations.
Congress expresses disappointment
The Congress on Monday said that had the government taken more concrete steps against Pakistan following the Uri attack, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s position at the UNGA would have been stronger.
“Whenever an Indian representative speaks on foreign soil, it’s not the time for politics. The entire country stands behind him or her. The whole country is behind Sushma Swaraj. But, actions taken by the government were behind her to strengthen her position. Had she gone to the UN with certain concrete steps taken by the government against Pakistan, her position would have been stronger,” said Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
“Had Mr. Modi, instead of speaking in Kozikhode, at Cabinet meetings, and Twitter, done most of the simple minimally invasive things, how much more she [Sushma Swaraj] would have been strengthened,” said Mr. Singhvi.
“They have not yet called a parliament session to declare Pakistan a terrorist state, they have not done anything to withdraw the MFN [most-favoured nation] status of Pakistan, they have not imposed severe economic sanctions against Pakistan,” he noted.
Mr. Singhvi said no effort was made to scale down the High Commissions of both the countries.
“They have not attempted in any way to deal on the ground with concrete actions. Some attempts have been made to isolate Pakistan globally, but that’s not enough. These things had to be done before we reached the U.N. Then the same U.N. speech would have resonated more strongly. That is our regret and our sense of unfulfilled aspiration,” he said.
Strong message: Sumitra Mahajan
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan lauded Ms. Swaraj for her powerful speech at the UNGA, saying she put forward India’s views on terrorism very strongly.
“Our Minister did give a very clear and strong message on terrorism,” Ms. Mahajan said in a statement. Referring to Sanskrit saying “Bajradapi Katho-rani Mriduni Kusuma-dapi”, the Speaker said that Ms. Swaraj’s performance showed she is able to display “a tough exterior but soft emotional heart” before a global platform.
Proud of Swaraj: Venkaiah Naidu
Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said Ms. Swaraj brilliantly put forth India’s position and exposed Pakistan’s evil designs.
“Hats off @SushmaSwaraj ji for extremely putting forth India’s point of view & Exposing Pakistan’s evil Designs in such a Brilliant Manner (sic),” he wrote on twitter.
In another tweet, he said, “We should feel extremely proud of our External Affairs minister Smt @SushmaSwaraj. Pakistan totally exposed (sic).”
To the point: VHP
The VHP praised Ms. Swaraj for her speech and hoped that her “energy and resolve” would be matched by the government’s action.
“Strong and to the point speech in the UN. Fantastic! Sure, the energy and resolve in your speech will be matched in action by the Government,” VHP International working president Pravin Togadia tweeted.
Exposes Pak’s actions: Jharkhand CM
MS. Swaraj gave a strong reply to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and now the entire world would come to know about Islamabad’s bad actions, an official release said quoting Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das.
Now the campaign to isolate Pakistan in the world would move ahead, he said.