A day after Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif tried to embarrass India on the global forum at the United Nations General Assembly, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi put the former firmly in his place with his speech on Saturday.
While Sharif accused India of cancelling secretary-level talks last month, Modi said at the international forum that India was ready for talks, but only in a peaceful environment.
"My government has reached out to other nations. We have also reached out to Pakistan. I want to strengthen relations with Pakistan in an environment of peace, but Pakistan also has a responsibility to create the right environment and come forward for talks with India," Modi said unequivocally.
This response was a befitting reply to Pakistan's demand that India restart bilateral talks, as Modi has said that it is Pakistan's responsibility to come forward and create a peaceful environment for talks.
Modi also addressed the issue of terrorism, and made a discreet reference to Pakistan when he said that "several nations were harbouring terrorists".
This statement was definitely aimed at Pakistan which is accused of letting 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed -- India's most-wanted man -- roam freely in the country.
Modi also skillfully tackled the elephant in the room -- the Kashmir issue -- that was raked up by Sharif on Friday, where he accused India of violating rights of Kashmiri residents and not giving them the right to self-determination.
Modi said that the Indian government had stepped forward for the people of Kashmir during the devastating floods earlier this month and had also offered help to Pakistan to help people in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
The Indian Prime Minister, however, seemed to have taken an opportunistic reference from the Kashmir floods.
"The Indian government organised massive relief efforts for people in Kashmir during the floods and also offered help to Pakistan," Modi said.
Most importantly, Modi sealed his snub to Pakistan by limiting references to it in his speech barely for a few minutes, much unlike how Pakistan referred to India extensively at the UNGA.
While Sharif seemed to singularly focus on problems with India in his speech, Modi seemed to have taken a more 'forward-looking' approach, by also discussing a range of other issues.
Am prepared to engage in serious bilateral dialogue with Pakistan in a peaceful atmosphere, without the shadow of terrorism-@narendramodi
— Syed Akbaruddin (@MEAIndia) September 27, 2014