Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a global call for cooperation on terrorism at the UN General Assembly on Saturday, calling for the world body to speedily adopt a comprehensive international convention of terror, so that no country could differentiate between “good terrorism and bad terrorism.” He also spoke of India’s ‘push for peace’ in the region, saying he wanted “serious dialogue” with Pakistan in an “atmosphere free of violence.”
In a speech in Hindi that lasted half an hour, Mr. Modi avoided a direct retort to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s harsh language at the UNGA on Friday, choosing instead to call on Pakistan to understand its own duty in creating an atmosphere for talks.
India has already made a formal protest against the speech with its ‘right’ to reply’ in the UNGA on Friday, calling Mr. Sharif’s speech “objectionable.”
In his speech, Mr. Modi stuck to a more restrained line, adding that the focus of the Indian government, when it came to Kashmir, was on providing relief to the victims of the recent floods there. “Not just in India, but we have offered help with whatever means we have to those affected by the floods in Pakistan as well.”
The PM made a more detailed reference to terrorism worldwide, saying that while India has faced terrorism for years, the world is now coming to terms with its effects. In a possible reference to the US-led coalition against ISIS that doesn’t include Iran or Syria, Mr. Modi said “everyone must be included in a global fight against the terror we see in west Asia.”
Mr. Modi’s concerns about a “double standard” on dealing with terrorism are significant, given that this will be a major topic for discussion with U.S. President Obama on Monday, when the US is expected to ask India to join the coalition of 40 countries against ISIS.
Visits 9/11 memorial
Earlier in the morning Mr. Modi visited the New York memorial for victims of the 9/11 attacks.