At UN, Tony Blinken Cites 26/11, LeT While Denouncing Terrorism, Pak Bristles
NEW YORK, NY (IANS) – While making a resounding denouncement of terrorism, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken cited the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks and the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant outfit.
Speaking at the Security Council meeting on Palestine on October 24, he said that terrorist acts are “unlawful and unjustifiable whether they target people in Nairobi or Bali, in Luxor, Istanbul, or Mumbai, in New York or Kibbutz Be’eri”.
“They’re unlawful and unjustifiable whether they are carried out by IS, by Boko Haram, by al-Shabaab, by Lashkar-e Taiba, or by Hamas. This Council has a responsibility to denounce member states that arm, fund, and train Hamas or any other terrorist group that carries out such horrific acts.”
Rejecting attempts to equivocate on the Hamas terrorism that killed over 1,400 people in Israel and had more than 200 kidnapped on October 7, Blinken said: “As this Council and the UN General Assembly have repeatedly affirmed, all acts of terrorism are unlawful and unjustifiable.”
Outlining the worst of the Hamas attack like the execution of children before their parents, the beheading of young people and the burning of families alive, Blinken said that “we must ask – indeed it must be asked – where is the outrage? Where is the revulsion? Where is the rejection? Where is the explicit condemnation of these horrors?”.
“We must affirm the right of any nation to defend itself and to prevent such horror from repeating itself. No member of this council – no nation in this entire body – could or would tolerate the slaughter of its people.”
Pakistan’s Permanent Representative Munir Akram reacted swiftly to the mention of 26/11, LeT and Hamas, and said without directly naming the US: “Some in this Council have offered protection to their allies who are oppressing occupied people in Palestine and in Kashmir.”
Akram said that “under the UN Charter, states have the right of self-defense against attacks on their sovereignty and territorial integrity”, but “a state which is in forcible occupation of a foreign territory cannot invoke the right to self-defense against those whose territory it has illegally occupied”.
This logic of Pakistan and some other countries that terrorists deemed by a country to be “freedom fighters” are not terrorists that have impeded the adoption of an international convention against terrorism proposed by India.
“Any attempt to create a false equivalence between Israel, the occupying power, and the Palestinians, the victims of this occupation, is untenable legally morally and politically,” Akram asserted.
While vehemently condemning Israel’s air strikes on Hamas-held Gaza, Akram did not condemn Hamas for its terrorist attacks on Israelis that killed 1,400 people, most of them civilians, and resulted in more than 200 taken hostage.
Without naming Washington, Akram directed another criticism at it for its veto of the Council resolutions calling for a ceasefire or a humanitarian pause in the Israel-Hamas conflict.