Participating in a general debate on “Culture of Peace” at the United Nations on Friday, India again aggressively flagged its concern over Pakistan continuing to be a safe haven for terrorists and terror outfits, and criticised Islamabad for using terrorism as a tool of state policy. In a hard hitting speech, S. Srinivas, Minister in the New York-based Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, said, “May I remind our neighbour that J&K is & will remain an integral part of India. It is time that Pakistan too reconciles to this.” “A culture of peace, not only symbolises peace in the larger context, but in terms of inter-State ties is also a value built on good neighbourliness, mutual respect and non-interference. It is ironic, that our neighbour, Pakistan, well-known for providing safe havens to terrorists and using terrorism as a tool of state policy, has used this platform to yet again covet Indian territory, cloaking its designs in the garb of concern for justice and self-determination,” he added.
Srinivas further stated, “As a democracy, India always abides by the choice of the people and will not allow it to be undermined by terrorists and extremists. It reiterates the principle of the need for promotion of peace through non-violence, a principle Gandhiji so eloquently expressed in his life message.” “In the long history of human civilisation, which have seen many years of warfare, the UN has been a guiding light in the 20th century with the many initiatives it has taken to build a peaceful and just order. The SDGs are only the latest and most comprehensive in its efforts to bring about a culture of peace in its broader sense. It is a matter of satisfaction that the global community of nations fully participated and engaged in this effort,” he added.
Describing India as one of the oldest civilisations in the world, Srinivas said it has been the home to a continuous steam of great spiritual teachers and thinkers throughout the centuries who have spread the message of a culture of peace. Citing examples such as the hymns of the Vedas and the teachings of Lord Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation, he said, “India is deeply conscious and proud of this heritage and remains committed to a Culture of Peace.” Srinivas concluded his speech by appreciating the UN’s initiative of organising the High Level Forum and commended Bangladesh for its continuing engagement on this important subject.