Young diplomat Eenam Gambhir delivers India’s response to Pak, a year after her stinging riposte to Nawaz speech
India fielded young diplomat Eenam Gambhir to deliver a stinging response to Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s speech at the UN General Assembly, describing the neighbouring country as “Terroristan” with a flourishing industry that exports jihadis worldwide.
Gambhir is not new to the role – a year ago, she had given an equally scathing reply to then prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s address to the General Assembly, in which he raked up the Kashmir issue and held up slain militant commander Burhan Wani as a leader of a “peaceful freedom movement”.
India’s response, under the “right of reply” during the debate at the General Assembly, played on the word Pakistan, which means “land of the pure”, and said the country had become the “land of pure terror”.
“In its short history, Pakistan has become a geography synonymous with terror…Pakistan is now ‘Terroristan’, with a flourishing industry producing and exporting global terrorism,” said Gambhir, a first secretary in India’s permanent mission to the UN.
“Terroristan is in fact a territory whose contribution to the globalisation of terror is unparalleled,” she added as two stony-faced Pakistani diplomats looked on.
Gambhir, who earlier served on the Pakistan desk in the external affairs ministry, said it was “extraordinary that the state which protected Osama bin Laden and sheltered Mullah Omar should have the gumption to play the victim”.
Pakistan’s current state, she said, can be gauged from the fact that Hafiz Saeed, a leader of the UN designated terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, is “now sought to be legitimised as a leader of a political party”. Pakistan’s counter-terror policy aims to “mainstream and upstream terrorists by either providing safe havens to global terror leaders…or protecting them with political careers”.
India’s response also criticised Pakistan’s “avaricious efforts to covet the territories of its neighbours” and said it must understand that Jammu and Kashmir “is and will always remain an integral part of India”.
The world knows that “efforts at creating alternative facts do not change reality”, Gambhir said.
In his address on Thursday, Abbasi accused India of indulging in terrorism against his country and warned of a “strong and matching response” if it “does venture across the LoC, or acts upon its doctrine of limited war against Pakistan”. He also called on the UN to appoint a special envoy for Kashmir and said the struggle of the Kashmiris is being “brutally suppressed” by India.