India's Modi targets neighbors at UN, but not by name

UN General Assembly

NEW YORK (AP) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn't directly mention Pakistan or China in his Saturday speech to the United Nations General Assembly, but the targets of his address were clear.

In a roughly 20-minute speech delivered in-person and in Hindi, he called upon the international community to help the women, children and minorities of Afghanistan and said that it was imperative the country not be used as a base from which to spread terror.

“We also need to be alert and ensure that no country tries to take advantage of the delicate situation there, and use it as a tool for its own selfish interests,” he said in an apparent reference to Pakistan, wedged between Afghanistan and India.

India has charged that the Taliban is Pakistan's “proxy terrorist” group and expressed concerns that Afghanistan could be used as a training ground for anti-India militant groups. The government in New Delhi also worries that the Taliban takeover could strengthen insurgency in the disputed region of Kashmir, which both India and Pakistan claim in full.

Modi did not mention Kashmir or the long-simmering conflict there, in contrast to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's speech the previous evening.

Modi also highlighted what he called the need to protect oceans from “the race for expansion and exclusion.” India and China have long competed for influence in the Indian Ocean.