On Monday, during her UNGA address, India's external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj spoke about the Uri attack and issued a point-by-point rebuttal of Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif's address a few days earlier. The speech covered all bases, but perhaps the most important point she made will be lost in the 'Kashmir hamara hai' rhetoric.
While Kashmir is indeed an integral part of India, it is now time to call out not just Pakistan, but also those countries who support it despite knowing that there are many terrorist camps situated in the land.
"... if we want to defeat terrorism, there is only one way – that we unite across our differences, add steel to our resolve and inject urgency in our response. We need to forget our prejudices and join hands together to script an effective strategy against terror. This is not an impossible task provided we have the will. We can do it, we must do it. Otherwise our future generations will forever hold us to account. And if any nation refuses to join this global strategy, then we must isolate it," said Swaraj during her speech.
"These nations, in which UN designated terrorists roam freely, lead processions and deliver their poisonous sermons of hate with impunity, are as culpable as the very terrorists they harbour. Such countries should have no place in the comity of nations," Swaraj further added.
Much of this may seem like little more than words, and Swaraj did not explicitly name anyone. But such is diplomacy that naming anyone directly can have consequences. Given that restriction. Swaraj has done the best she can.
Speaking to NDTV, strategic affairs expert from the RSS, Seshadri Chari said it in as many words: "India is suffering only because of terrorism and terrorism emanating from our neighbourhood. This terrorism is targeting not only India but also many other centres of world trade -- that is what she mentioned."
"This is virtually a call to not only those centres but especially to those countries that are looking at Pakistan as a friend and an ally to fight terrorism. Forget old ties and obligation. Forget the base or the highway. The elephant in the room is the US and China clearly," he said.
China has been aggressive, so getting them to hear India's version of things might not exactly be easy. The Chinese also have major strategic interests there, especially the US$46 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The CPEC, which is that is China’s single biggest overseas development project, links the Pakistani port of Gwadar (located in Balochistan) on the Arabian Sea with Xinjiang, providing western China easy access to fuel imports from the Middle East and Africa and also creates an export route for its landlocked western states.
But the US, given it's business interests in India, should be another matter. We are now collaborating with the US on many fronts and India even signed a pact with US which allows the US forces to use Indian Air and Naval basis for logistics support.
Given the amount of time, the Americans have spent in Pakistan; given the technologically advanced spy networks they have; given their satellites... they cannot claim that they do not know of terrorist camps there. Yet, they choose to turn a blind eye to it because it suits their purposes.
This is precisely why they have never been able to win the war on terrorism, because their war has always been a selective one; one that is fought not against all terrorists but instead against specific individuals or organisations. Terrorists on the other hand make no such distinctions.
When Obama came into office almost eight years back, he had pledged to make his counter-terrorism policies more nimble, more transparent, and more ethical than the ones pursued by the George W. Bush administration. There has been some change, they now fight via remote control, but in India's case, it amounts to nothing.
Through the years, Obama has kept saying: "The threat from terrorism is real but we will overcome it."
But in what way are they working to do that in the Indian sub-continent? The US needs Pakistan because of the bases that they use for their drone strikes against the Taliban in Afghanistan.
And for that, they are willing to 'not interfere' even when they know they should. Which makes it important to keep calling out their double standards over and over again.
This is not to say that the US needs to fight our battle. India can do that on its own, but the US needs to push Pakistan to do the right thing. They need to show that they themselves want to do the right thing. If India cannot attack the terrorist camps, then maybe the US can convince Pakistan to do that instead.
It can't be that hard to produce evidence that the camps exist. Once that is proved can Pakistan really refuse to act? And if it does refuse, then it is inviting international censure. Either which way, it will force Pakistan into a corner and force their hand.
But calling out the US just once isn't going to amount to much. Terrorism is a global problem and India needs to make the point many more times for the US to take any notice of the fact and actually act.
It is stunning that even in this day and age, no one -- other than India -- is ready to hold Pakistan to account for the problem. And if nothing else, India needs this to change quickly. So call out the US and it's hypocrisy because if they can even be shamed into acting, then it will indeed be a big step forward.