After two American lawmakers have introduced a bill in the House of Representatives to designate Pakistan a terrorist state, saying it aids the “enemies of the US”, Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN Maleeha Lodhi today said that its nuclear program cannot be restricted
Pakistani media quoted Lodhi as saying at a New York press conference that US Secretary of State John Kerry had asked Nawaz Sharif to limit Pakistan’s nuclear program. She said Pakistan would not curtail it.
Lodhi’s statement comes close on the heels of the Indian Army saying it reserves the right to respond to Pakistan’s provocations at a time and place of its own choosing. The army has blamed Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) for having carried out the Uri base attack, in which 18 Indian soldiers were killed and 32 injured.
To Lodhi’s uncompromising line, Azad Kashmir president Masood Khan also added his own bit by stating that Pakistan was a strong nuclear state and that any adventurism on India’s part would prove its own undoing.
Lodhi demanded that India first implement the measures Pakistan is asking for. She said John Kerry was in the loop on Pakistan’s stand on the issue. “The world should first put an end to the nuclear activities undertaken by India,” she said.
Lodhi’s tough talk is being seen as the latest episode in Pakistan’s efforts to corner India over Kashmiri militant Burhan Wani’s killing. One of the tweets read, “PM Sharif has briefed the Japanese PM about the grave turn that the situation in occupied Kashmir has taken. He also reminded him of the UNSC resolutions.”
She also tweeted, “PM Nawaz Sharif also apprised his Japanese counterpart of the human rights violations being committed by Indian occupation forces in Kashmir.”
In another tweet, she said, “PM Sharif and President Erdogan (of Turkey) agreed that OIC Comm on Human Rights should send a fact-finding mission to occupied Kashmir.”
OIC is the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry said that Sharif’s advisor on foreign affairs, Sartaj Aziz, had met his counterparts from Austria, Switzerland, and Japan. During the meeting, Aziz had reportedly informed his counterparts about the alleged human rights abuses in Kashmir.
India shares friendly relations with both Japan and Turkey, including in trade, economy, defence and maritime security.
But if latest developments on the matter are anything to go by, Pakistan’s effort to push India into a corner is unlikely to bear any fruit. While tabling the ‘Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act (HR 6069)’ in the House, Republican Ted Poe and Democrat Dana Rohrabacher said, “It is time we stopped paying Pakistan for its betrayal and designate it for what it is: a state sponsor of terrorism.”
Poe is the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism. He minced no words while saying, “Not only is Pakistan an untrustworthy ally, Islamabad has also aided and abetted enemies of the US for years. From harbouring Osama bin Laden to its cozy relationship with the Haqqani network, there is more than enough evidence to determine whose side Pakistan is on in the War on Terror. And it’s not America’s.”
Meanwhile, India is also not sitting idle. Modi government is using all diplomatic means to isolate Pakistan globally. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is all set to spearhead India’s charge at the UN General Assembly, where she is supposed to bring to light evidence of Pakistan’s involvement in terror attacks in India. In this pursuit, India is also receiving support from Afghanistan and Bangladesh.