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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday took aim at Pakistan in his speech to the UN General Assembly warning Islamabad that those who use terrorism as a political tool against others would have to understand that it would be a threat to them as well.

Modi in his 22 minute speech also spoke against expansionism and exclusionism in the oceans that he described as lifelines of global trade and urged all countries to raise a unified voice against this. The comment could be seen as reference to China’s attempts to claim all of the South China Sea as part of its territorial waters.

Modi is in the US on a three day visit that covered a stop in Washington during which he met US President Joe Biden for face to face bilateral talks and also attended the first in person Quad meeting – that brought together the leaders of the US, India, Australia and Japan.

In his UN speech, the prime minister also spoke about the need to reform the 75 year old UN and other multilateral systems. He also used the opportunity to announce that India had resumed sending out vaccines manufactured in India for countries afflicted by the covid-19 pandemic.

“India has developed the world's first DNA vaccine that can be given to everyone above 12 years of age," Modi said and extended an open invite to manufacturers across the world: "Come, make vaccine in India."

"Despite limited resources, India - which believes in the philosophy of "Seva Param Dharam" (service is the highest religion) - is completely invested in the development and manufacture of the vaccines," Modi said as he gave details about Zydus Cadila's three-dose covid-19 DNA vaccine that was cleared by the Indian drug regulator DCGA last month. The vaccine is seen as the world’s first plasmid DNA vaccine against covid-19. It uses a section of genetic material from the virus that gives instructions as either DNA or RNA to make the specific protein that the immune system recognises and responds to.

"There is another m-RNA vaccine, which is in the final stages of development. Our country's scientists are also involved in the development of a nasal vaccine for coronavirus," Modi said.

"While understanding the responsibility towards humanity, India has yet again started giving vaccines to those who need it," the prime minister said.

India had stopped exporting or sending out vaccines as donations after it was hit by a brutal second wave of covid-19 infections in April-May.

On Pakistan, Modi said that those countries using “terrorism as a political tool… they will have to understand that terrorism is also as big a danger for them."

India believes Pakistan foments terrorism against the country, a charge Pakistan denies.

In his speech, Modi also referred to Afghanistan in his speech urging the world community to collectively ensure that “Afghanistan’s soil is not used for terrorist activities against any country."

“We also have to alert to the fact that the sensitive situation in Afghanistan is not exploited by any country for its own benefit," he said in an oblique reference to Pakistan using the situation in the war country to further its terrorist activities.

“The minorities, women and children (of Afghanistan) need help and in this we have to do our duty," Modi said referring to the shortage of medicines, food and other commodities in the country that was taken over by the Pakistan backed Taliban on 15 August.

On the oceans, Modi said that its resources should not be abused.

“They (oceans) are also lifelines for commerce, they have to be kept safe from expansionism and exclusionism," he said adding to strengthen rules based global order, “the world community will have to raise their voices as one."

Speaking for reforms in the UN and other global multilateral bodies, Modi said “If the UN wants to remain relevant, it will have to improve its effectiveness. Many questions dogging the UN today."

Underlining the importance of trust and reliability in such international systems, Modi said confidence in the UN had been shaken by many issues in the recent past – like in the case of the pandemic, on global efforts to fight terrorism and the situation in Afghanistan.

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