Modi to address UNGA, also meet Bangladesh PM Hasina

Modi to address UNGA, also meet Bangladesh PM Hasina

Agency News

New York, Sep 27 : On the last day of his engagement in the US at the end of week long tour, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be making his much awaited UN General Assembly speech on Friday.

Mr Modi is expected to make a strong pitch on Pakistan's role vis-a-vis terror menace and climate change while he may speak in certain details on abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and highlight it as an internal matter of India.

Apart from Kashmir, Alyssa Ayres, Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations, said Prime Minister Modi's address may cover a wide range of India's other ambitions including maritime and space.

'Any Indian leader will feel obligated to give a reply given the importance Pakistan has given to it. But I do think India's international ambitions are much larger than the very tough issue of Pakistan," she told a private TV channel. 'Space has been an important issue for India certainly in the past couple of decades that are important to India globally,' she has further said.

The Prime Minister is also likely to underscore the fact that about 42,000 lives have been lost to terror attacks in the last 30 years in Jammu and Kashmir and that it is incumbent on the international community to 'fight together' to fight this scourge of terrorism.

Mr Modi has emphasised on these issues during his bilateral parleys with US President Donald Trump too. He may press for an international conference especially on the issue of terrorism - a point he first flagged off in Maldives in June immediately after resuming power in the Lok Sabha polls.

On the last day of his trip here, the Prime Minister will hold two crucial bilateral meetings with Asian leaders - Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Bhutan counterpart Dr Lotay Tshering.

In talks with the Bangladesh Prime Minister, the issues related to Rohingya refugees and assistance from India may figure. On September 24, Ms Hasina had raised the issue of Rohingya refugees at a special function organised here by India on the relevance of Mahatma Gandhi.

"You all are aware that we (Bangladesh) are currently hosting almost 1.1 million Rohingyas who fled violence and atrocities in Myanmar," she has said in presence of Prime Minister Modi and other leaders. She also has said despite resource constraints and other challenges, her government deciding to shelter huge number of Rohingya refugees had actually 'emanated from our conscience'.

During one of the briefings at a later stage, MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar has said that India has engaged with both Myanmar and Bangladesh on the Rohingya issue.
"We have extended development assistance to Myanmar for construction of some houses, we have also provided assistance for displaced persons who are in Bangladesh and we do encourage talks which is going on between the two countries," he told reporters.

Meanwhile, virtually setting the tone of Prime Minister's UNGA speech, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar has on Wednesday said 'India has no problem talking to Pakistan. But we have a problem talking to Terroristan". In bilateral talks with US President as well, Prime Minister Modi had insisted that while India never disagreed with the idea of talks with Pakistan, 'concrete steps' ought to be taken by India's western neighbour on curbing terror.

".....we expect that the overtures PM Modi made the years (to Pakistan) ought to have been reciprocated and none of them have been reciprocated,' the Foreign Secretary has said on September 24 after Modi-Trump bilateral meeting and in this context, he referred to the invitation extended in 2014 to Nawaz Sharif and Mr Modi's trip to Lahore in December 2015. (UNI)