Krishna Menon would have been really proud
He spoke for almost eight hours in 1957 in the Security Council, all members of it except from Soviet Union were hostile to India. The crux of the marathon speech was reflected in what Enami Gambhir said in her three-and-a-half-minute speech while exercising India’s right to reply to the address by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Menon had said almost 70 years ago, “Why is that we have never heard voice in connection with the freedom of people under the suppression and tyranny of Pakistan authorities on the other side of the cease-fire line? Why is it that we have not heard here that in ten years these people have not seen a ballot paper? With what voice can either the Security Council or anyone coming before it demand a plebiscite for a people on our side who exercise franchise, who have freedom of speech, who function under a hundred local bodies?”
The difference was that Gambhir, the youngest officer, First Secretary at India’s Permanent Mission in New York speaking at the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), had a friendly reception. She said, “The worst violation of human rights is terrorism. When practiced as an instrument of state policy it is a war crime. What my country and our other neighbours are facing today is Pakistan’s long-standing policy of sponsoring terrorism, the consequences of which have spread well beyond our region.
“Only last week, the international community honored the memory of thousands of innocent victims from around the world, who lost their lives not far from here in New York fifteen years ago in a most horrifying terror attack.
The world has not yet forgotten that the trail of that dastardly attack led all the way to Abbottabad in Pakistan.
“As a democracy India is firmly resolved to protect all our citizens from all acts of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. We cannot and will not allow terrorism to prevail.
“Finally, Mr President, we have heard Pakistan, whose nuclear proliferation record is marked by deception and deceit, talking about restraint, renunciation and peace. Similar false promises it has made to us — the international community — on terrorism. Perhaps renunciation of lies and self-restraint on threats could be a good place for Pakistan to start.
“The land of Taxila, one of the greatest learning centres of ancient times, is now host to the Ivy League of terrorism.
“It attracts aspirants and apprentices from all over the world. The effect of its toxic curriculum are felt across the globe. It is ironical therefore that we have seen today the preaching of human rights and ostensible support for self-determination by a country which has established itself as the global epicentre of terrorism.”
Pakistan has not changed in 70 years but diplomacy and its language has dramatically changed. It is more direct, blunt and sharp. What Menon achieved in eight hours Gambhir did in 511 words delivered in less than three and a half minutes.
Pakistan has its Generals to draft speeches while India has diplomats, some of whom are from Ivy League universities. That is why we are exporting software while Pakistan is exporting terrorism.