India gave a tough message to Pakistan on the issue of “territorial integrity” at the virtual Ministerial Meeting of the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) on Friday, “Bandung+65: More Relevant, United and Effective NAM against Emerging Global Challenges, including Covid-19”.
Minister of State for External Affairs, V. Muraleedharan delivered the India Statement where he took on Pakistan, which is a member nation, for raising the issue of Kashmir at the forum.
“Individual members must stop and think before raising issues that are not on the agenda and which find no resonance in the wider membership. NAM never was and never can be a platform for pursuits aimed at undermining the territorial integrity of a State by another State,” said the Indian deputy minister of external affairs.
Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi raked up the issue of Kashmir while delivering his country statement.
India reminded the forum that NAM had the potential to take the lead when “we stand together and speak in one voice” he said giving the example of Palestine.
“We can and do have a decisive influence on global outcomes – we can be a force for good,” he said.
And then without naming Pakistan, the minister said that it had become a dividing force. He said, “On the other hand, if we take up issues that divide rather than unite us, reducing our Movement to a platform for venting bilateral grievances or for embarrassing fellow Members, we will soon become a weak and irrelevant entity, with no say at all in global decision making.”
Reminding the global bloc of the importance of multilateralism and forming alliances, the minister said stressed upon the need for “collaborative efforts”.
“We live in times when more, and not less, collaborative efforts are needed. The NAM has a glorious past. However, how the future will judge us will depend on how we perform in addressing the defining challenges of our era,” he said.
Highlighting the message of Prime Minister Modi to the Movement when he participated in the Online Summit of the NAM Contact Group in response to Covid-19 held in May this year, Muraleedharan said that the PM had reaffirmed India’s readiness to offer assistance in solidarity with the Movement.
India is going to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2021-22, and Presidency of the G20 in 2022: “deploying our rich developmental experience for the peace and welfare of humanity, treating the world as one family,” he said.
The minister also raised the issue of “terrorism” and “misinformation” campaigns that threaten the “collective security”.
“Terrorism and their enablers continue to spread their tentacles unabated. Misinformation and fake news are wreaking havoc on social cohesion and collective security,”
He added, “Cyber security threats and the uneven impact of frontier technologies are causing turbulence. Development concerns remain paramount for the vast majority of the world’s population.”