‘Hosting Osama, attacking Parliament’: Jaishankar slams Pakistan at UNSC
India and Pakistan squared off on the issue of Kashmir at the United Nations Security Council, with external affairs minister S Jaishankar saying a country accused of hosting Osama bin Laden and attacking a neighbouring Parliament should not ‘sermonise’ on such matters
New Delhi India and Pakistan squared off on the issue of Kashmir at the United Nations Security Council, with external affairs minister S Jaishankar saying a country accused of hosting Osama bin Laden and attacking a neighbouring Parliament should not “sermonise” on such matters.
The exchange late on Wednesday occurred during an open debate on reformed multilateralism at the Security Council that was chaired by Jaishankar as part of India’s presidency of the UN’s top body during December. Pakistan’s foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari spoke during the debate and urged the Security Council to implement its resolutions on the Kashmir issue.
“There is an agenda item left unaddressed that we believe is a multilateral agenda, that is an agenda of this UN Security Council. If you want to see the success of multilateral institutions, multilateralism [and] this very Council, then surely you can aid in this process and allow for the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions when it comes to the question of Kashmir, prove that multilateralism can succeed, prove that the UN Security Council...can succeed and deliver peace in our region,” Bhutto Zardari said.
He spoke following opening remarks by Jaishankar, who took a tacit swipe at Pakistan and China and said multilateral platforms such as the Security Council are being “misused to justify and protect perpetrators” of terrorist acts.
Jaishankar made an intervention after Bhutto Zardari’s remarks and said, again without naming Pakistan, that a country accused of hosting slain al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden should not sermonise before the Security Council. While UN member states search for the best solutions to reform the world body to make it capable of facing contemporary challenges such as terrorism, the normalisation of these threats cannot be accepted, he said.
“What our discourse must never accept is the normalisation of such threats. The question of justifying what the world regards as unacceptable should not even arise. That certainly applies to state sponsorship of cross-border terrorism. Nor can hosting Osama bin Laden and attacking a neighbouring Parliament serve as credentials to sermonise before this Council,” Jaishankar said.
Bin Laden was killed by US special forces in May 2011 while sheltering in a compound located a short distance from the Pakistan Military Academy in the garrison town of Abbottabad. Pakistan-based terrorists were blamed for a brazen attack on India’s Parliament in December 2001 that killed nine people.
Bhutto Zardari also opposed any permanent membership for India in an expanded Security Council while calling for inclusive multilateralism within the framework of the UN to promote security and economic development. Without referring to the Kashmir issue, he said: “Parties to a dispute cannot advocate multilateral processes one day, multilateral reform one day and insist on bilateral avenues the next, or ultimately impose unilateral solutions.”
Multilateralism must be based on adherence to the UN Charter, self-determination of people, and non-interference in internal affairs of states, he added.