Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke of the threat of terrorism in his country and criticized neighboring countries that allow militant groups to flourish during a speech at the United Nations General Assembly Saturday. He closed his speech with a call for an International Yoga Day to help raise consciousness about climate change, the New York Times reported.
“Some countries are giving refuge to international terrorists,” Modi said. “They consider terrorism to be a tool of their policy.”
Modi did not place blame on any country in particular in referring to militants responsible for terrorist attacks in India but it is widely believed he was referring to Pakistan. The two countries have a long-standing rivalry and have fought three wars since 1947. Despite India canceling talks with Pakistan last month, Modi said he would be willing to try again.
"I want to hold bilateral talks to improve friendship and cooperation in all seriousness and in an atmosphere of peace without a shadow of terrorism," Modi said, according to the Wall Street Journal. "But this is also the duty of Pakistan to come forward and create the appropriate atmosphere and with all seriousness come forward for a bilateral dialogue."
Modi also discussed the issue of climate change during his speech. India’s ability to cut down on emissions is under scrutiny as the country plans to open a new coal-powered plant. The plant will help alleviate some of India’s crushing poverty, but it is also likely to contribute to a rise in emissions, Indian Environment Minister Prakash Javdekar said this week.
One solution Modi offered on climate change was yoga, which he said is more than just an exercise.
“By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change,” Modi said. “Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.”