It is not unusual for India and Pakistan to spar with each other at the United Nations. But what is becoming a new trend is New Delhi unleashing its young women diplomats to take on Islamabad.
On Wednesday, at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, it was the turn of a 2008 batch officer Nabanita Chakrabarti to take on the neighbouring country, flanked by her two senior and more seasoned diplomats.
Though diplomacy has long been a male bastion, New Delhi is increasingly deploying women officials to articulate the country’s stand on different issues.
And Chakrabarti kept up the pressure on Pakistan, exercising her country’s right of reply to Pakistan’s envoys charges.
“Apart from becoming the world’s terrorism factory, Pakistan has also alienated its own people through continued mistreatment of Hindus, Christians, Shias, Ahmadiyas and other minorities,” she said.
“...Pakistan has referred to the situation of minorities in India. Minorities in India have been prime ministers, presidents, vice-presidents, senior cabinet ministers, senior civil servants, cricket team captains, Bollywood superstars. Can the minorities of Pakistan claim even a shadow of this? All they have are blasphemy laws and relentless abuse and violation of their human rights.”
Relations between India and Pakistan are at a historic low after a string of militant attacks on defence installations in Punjab and Kashmir, which New Delhi blames on outfits operating from the neighbouring country.
Pakistan has denied the charges and claim that it has suffered as from terrorism as other nations.
The diplomatic offensive by India is part of New Delhi’s strategy to isolate Pakistan.
The attack by Chakrabarti was quite similar to a strategy India adopted in September last year to counter Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The debate at the United Nationals General Assembly is much bigger but the tone and tenor of India-Pakistan tirade at each other rarely changes.
It was another Wednesday in September last year when 2005 batch IFS officer Eenam Gambhir raised a storm with a pointed and stinging reply to Sharif.
Watch her speech:
Speaking with a distinct accent, Gambhir dismantled Sharif’s charges, point by point to highlight how India and other countries have beared the consequences of Pakistan’s policy of sponsoring terrorism.
“What my country and our other neighbours are facing today is Pakistan’s long-standing policy of sponsoring terrorism, the consequences of which have spread well beyond our region,” she said during the general debate of the 71st session UN General Assembly
“The land of Taxila, one of the greatest learning centres of ancient times, is now host to the ivy league of terrorism. It attracts aspirants and apprentices from all over the world. The effects of its toxic curriculum are felt across the globe,” she said during her speech.