Prime Minister Imran Khan at UNGA in New York on Friday. (Reuters)
"The previous Congress Home Minister gave a statement that in RSS camps, terrorists are being trained," Khan said at the world body which is deliberating on climate change and inclusion in its 74th session.
P Chidambaram had brought up the issue of what he called "saffron terrorism" while addressing the annual conference of the DGPs, and IGPs on August 25, 2010.
"... I wish to caution you that there is no let up in the attempts to infiltrate militants into India. There is no let up in the attempts to radicalise young men and women in India. Besides, there is the recently uncovered phenomenon of 'saffron terrorism' that has been implicated in many bomb blasts of the past...," Chidambaram had said.
The then home minister's statement that raised many an eyebrow came as the country witnessed blasts in a Maharashtra town Malegaon in 2006 and explosion of the Samjhauta Express in Haryana, blast at Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad and bombing at Ajmer Sharif Dargah, all in 2007.
However, the Congress quickly distanced itself from Chidambaram's comment, saying "terrorism does not have any colour other than black".
Imran Khan also warned there would be a bloodbath when India lifts its curfew in Kashmir and that any all-out conflict between the two nuclear-armed nations would reverberate far beyond their borders.
Khan made the remarks in an impassioned speech to the annual United Nations General Assembly after India last month abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution that gave a special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
“If this goes wrong, you hope for the best but be prepared for the worst,” Khan said.
“If a conventional war starts between the two countries ... anything could happen. But supposing a country seven times smaller than its neighbor is faced with the choice – either you surrender or you fight for your freedom till death?
“What will we do? I ask myself this question ... and we will fight. ... and when a nuclear-armed country fights to the end, it will have consequences far beyond the borders.”
Khan address the United Nations a day after the senior U.S. diplomat for South Asia called for a lowering of rhetoric between India and Pakistan while saying that Washington hoped to see rapid action by India to lift restrictions it has imposed in Kashmir and the release of detainees there.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the UN assembly shortly before Khan made no mention of Kashmir, or Pakistan, in his speech, concentrating mainly on Indian’s efforts to protect the environment.