UNGA Slugfest: A New Low

UNGA Slugfest: A New Low
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The centre of gravity of the United Nations is the Security Council. It is here that matters of “high politics” are actually debated , thrown open to discussion and a course of action charted. It is altogether a different matter that the Security Council, hamstrung by issues of a structural and political nature has not measured up to the UN Charter, its and roles and responsibilities. This much can be said about the Council. But, insofar as the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is concerned, it has been and is a veritable talk shop. Yes, there is some procedural importance to the UNGA, but that’s that. Given the very nature of the UNGA as a talk shop, nations- especially those caught in a conflict dyad, like India and Pakistan- use this forum to denigrate , insult and hurl volleys of what amounts to abusive recriminations at each other. In the latest bout and slug fest, India called Pakistan a “factory of terror”. Pakistan responded in kind and called India as the “ mother of terrorism in South Asia”. These are just the highlights of the offensive and crude labels and by the standards of the UNGA cover and reflect a new low. It is not clear why India and Pakistan take recourse to such crude snides and offensive posturing. Perhaps, each feels good at denigrating the other in a flawed and faulty yet global forum or perhaps each wants to outdo and outcompete the other in recriminations and insults. Regardless of the motivs and intentions, the net result is that except for a bitter stalemate , there is no outcome to these sordid public slanging matches. Consider the label and appellation of terrorism. The term itself is notoriously slippery and contentious. Yet, states employ it for self serving and instrumental purposes- almost with abandon after September II. In the Indo Pak dynamic, the term is aimed at obscuring and distracting from the real issue: that is, the conflict in and over Kashmir. The fact of the matter is that there is conflict in and over Kashmir. It cannot be glossed over and obscured by slippery and flawed labels. It would , instead of recriminations , offensive and insulting behavior in public forums, behoove both Pakistan and India to shelve baggage and inability to countenance each other , and engage in dialogue with each other, keeping in view the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. South Asia and both India and Pakistan would be better for it.


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