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India terms Imran Khan’s UN General Assembly address ‘hate speech’

India’s First Secretary Vidisha Maitra speaks at the United Nations General Assembly in response to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech. Photo: Twitter/@IndiaUNNewYork/PTI  

In a strong rebuttal to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), India said Mr. Khan had engaged in “hate speech”.

“Unfortunately, what we heard today from Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan was a callous portrayal of the world in binary terms, ‘us’ versus ‘them’, rich versus poor, North versus South, developed versus developing, Muslims versus others,” First Secretary in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN Vidisha Maitra said on Friday night. She was speaking during the minutes allocated to India for its right of reply.

“A script that fosters divisiveness at the United Nations attempts to sharpen differences and stir up hatred, are [sic] , simply put, ‘hate speech,’” Ms. Maitra said.

Mr. Khan, who addressed the General Assembly shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday morning, had warned of a “bloodbath” in Kashmir after India removes restrictions on the State, imposed after the revocation in early August of Article 370 that granted special status. He had also outlined the linkages between the origins of RSS ideology and Nazism.

Mr Modi’s address, while calling for a united fight against terrorism, made no reference to either Pakistan or Kashmir.

‘Words matter’

“Words matter in diplomacy. Invocation of phrases such as “pogrom”, “bloodbath”, “racial superiority”, “pick up the gun” and “fight to the end” reflect a medieval mindset and not a 21st century vision,” Ms. Maitra said.

“Pogroms, Prime Minister Imran Khan Niazi, are not a phenomenon of today’s vibrant democracies. We would request you to refresh your rather sketchy understanding of history. Do not forget the gruesome genocide perpetrated by Pakistan against its own people in 1971 and the role played by Lt. Gen A.A.K. Niazi. A sordid fact that the Honourable Prime Minister of Bangladesh reminded this Assembly about earlier this afternoon,” she added.

“ Citizens of India do not need anyone else to speak on their behalf, least of all those who have built an industry of terrorism from the ideology of hate,” the diplomat said.

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Printable version | Apr 16, 2021 5:55:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-terms-imran-khans-un-general-assembly-address-hate-speech/article29543734.ece

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