Letter: India’s UNGA Circus

During the UNGA delegates’ sideline meeting in New York last Thursday, the Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj disregarded the dignity of the South Asian democracies by showing explicit disrespect to her Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mehmood Qureshi. .

A blatant display of belligerence by a high profile diplomat was unwarranted, which categorically undermined the global standing of the UN and gave the body a point to ponder.

The government in India is under immense domestic pressure for its alleged financial bungling in the Rafale Jet deal that debunked the myth of ‘civilian supremacy’ and ‘non-corrupt politics’ of India.

The cold shoulder response by the Indian Foreign Minister proved yet again how severely India lacks a tangential relationship with the reality of international affairs and changing regional dynamics.

Pakistan, on the contrary, took the moral high ground by playing down the incident and avoided any serious discussion about it. The incident, by a great deal, seems to have augmented a positive global opinion about Pakistan, knowing that it was Pakistan that wanted peace and India backed off at the last moment.

Moreover, the UNGA also brought the misery of the Indian-occupied Kashmir back in focus with protesters staging a huge protest outside the UN building.

A recent change of guard in Islamabad, with the election of Imran Khan, also indicates a change in how Pakistan presents its case on a global level. The foreign minister’s speech, especially in Pakistan’s national language Urdu, criticizing Indian involvement in terrorism showed that Islamabad’s foreign policy had taken a new turn.

Sushma Swaraj may have been showered with applause by PM Modi for toeing his line, however, at the twilight of her political career, she miserably failed to leave a legacy at the UN.

Her demeanor will long be remembered by the world as an address by the top diplomat of nation big enough to outnumber the rest of the world, but too small in morality to live in harmony with its neighbors.



Rafiq Jan – Qatar



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