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‘Kashmir target of Pak-backed terror’

world Updated: Sep 29, 2010 23:30 IST
Anirudh Bhattacharyya

In a strong rebuttal of his Pakistani counterpart’s speech before the United Nations General Assembly the day before, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna told the same body on Wednesday that Jammu and Kashmir was the “target of Pakistan-sponsored militancy and terrorism.”

In a speech that was crafted hours before it was delivered, Krishna also said Pakistan must “fulfil its solemn commitment of not allowing territory under its control to be used for terrorism directed against India.”

The speech at the 65th session of the UN General Assembly was preceded by some drama as the minister, scheduled to be the first speaker of the day, was informed by the United Nations that the venue was being shifted because part of the roof of the UN General Assembly Hall had collapsed.

He was to speak at the building adjoining, where many events have been moved to since the main UN structure has been undergoing renovation. However, the speech was ultimately moved back to the original venue.

Krishna’s speech was intended to counter Pakistan Foreign Minister S.M. Qureshi words about 24-hours earlier in which he had lambasted India over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

Krishna said Pakistan could “not impart lessons” to India “on democracy and human rights.”

He also said that if Pakistan were to live up to its commitment not to allow its soil to be misused by terrorist groups targeting India then that “would significantly help reduce the trust deficit” between the two countries.

In another jab at Pakistan, he also said the “continuing existence of safe havens and sanctuaries for terrorists beyond Afghanistan’s borders” was a “major impediment” to the restoration of peace and security to that nation.

Also speaking of the need for expansion of UN Security Council in both the permanent and non-permanent categories, he said it was “imperative” that negotiations in that direction should be taken to an “early and logical conclusion”.