India today blasted Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto over his offensive personal attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling it a “new low even for Pakistan”.
In a firm and unsparing condemnation of Bilawal Bhutto’s remarks at the UN, New Delhi said Pakistan lacks the credentials to cast aspersions on India and added that “Make in Pakistan terrorism” has to stop.
In a highly objectionable comment on Thursday, Bilawal Bhutto had said: “Osama bin Laden is dead, but the butcher of Gujarat lives and he is the Prime Minister of India.” He was reacting to Foreign Minister S Jaishankar calling Pakistan the “epicentre of terrorism” in a powerful takedown.
“These comments are a new low, even for Pakistan. The Foreign Minister of Pakistan has obviously forgotten this day in 1971, which was a direct result of the genocide unleashed by Pakistani rulers against ethnic Bengalis and Hindus. Unfortunately, Pakistan does not seem to have changed much in the treatment of its minorities. It certainly lacks credentials to cast aspersions at India,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The Pakistan Foreign Minister’s “uncivilized outburst” seemed to be a result of Pakistan’s “increasing inability to use terrorists and their proxies,” said the ministry.
“Cities like New York, Mumbai, Pulwama, Pathankot and London are among the many that bear the scars of Pakistan-sponsored, supported and instigated terrorism. This violence has emanated from their Special Terrorist Zones and exported to all parts of the world. ‘ Make in Pakistan’ terrorism has to stop.”
India said Pakistan is a country that glorifies Osama bin Laden as a martyr, and shelters terrorists like Lakhvi, Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar, Sajid Mir and Dawood Ibrahim. “No other country can boast of having 126 UN-designated terrorists and 27 UN-designated terrorist entities,” said the statement.
“We wish that Pakistan Foreign Minister would have listened more sincerely yesterday at the UN Security Council to the testimony of Ms. Anjali Kulthe, a Mumbai nurse who saved the lives of 20 pregnant women from the bullets of the Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab. Clearly, the Foreign Minister was more interested in whitewashing Pakistan’s role. Pakistan FM’s frustration would be better directed towards the masterminds of terrorist enterprises in his own country, who have made terrorism a part of their State policy. Pakistan needs to change its own mindset or remain a pariah,” the government said.
Union ministers also condemned the comments, calling Bilawal Bhutto “mentally bankrupt and irresponsible”.
“The language used by the Foreign Minister of Pakistan shows that not only does he represent a bankrupt country, he is also mentally bankrupt,” said Meenakshi Lekhi, junior Foreign Minister.
“He is the representative of a failed state and is himself failed, so Pakistan is also failed. What can you expect from those who have a terror mindset?”
Anurag Thakur, the Union Information and Broadcasting Minister, called the comments “nefarious and shameful”.
“Maybe they (Pakistan) still feel the pain of 1971. More than 93,000 Pakistani soldiers surrendered before India that day. His grandfather (Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, former Pakistan President) wept when they lost,” Anurag Thakur told reporters.
“Pakistan’s soil has been used to nurture, shield and protect terrorism. Their nefarious plans have been exposed to the world,” Mr Thakur said.
Yesterday, Foreign Minister Jaishankar said in a searing attack on Pakistan: “My advice is to clean up your act and try to be a good neighbor. Hillary Clinton, during her visit to Pakistan, said that if you keep snakes in your backyard you can’ t expect them to bite only your neighbors, eventually they will bite the people who keep them in the backyard.”
PM Modi has been cleared of any wrongdoing by investigations into the 2002 Gujarat riots. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal against his exoneration in one of the cases linked to the killings.
Over 1,000 people were killed in three-day violence in Gujarat and the state police faced charges of not doing enough to stop the riots that began after a train coach carrying pilgrims was burned in Godhra, killing 59 people.