India on Friday blasted Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto for his offensive personal attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling it “a new low even for Pakistan”.
In a strong and ruthless condemnation of Bilawal Bhutto’s remarks at the UN, New Delhi said Pakistan lacked the powers to defame India and added that “Doing terrorism in Pakistan” must stop.
In a highly reprehensible comment on Thursday, Bilawal Bhutto 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 an ‘epicenter of terrorism’ in a powerful takedown.
“These comments are a new low even for Pakistan. Pakistan’s foreign minister has obviously forgotten that day in 1971, which was a direct result of the genocide unleashed by the Pakistani leadership against Bengalis and Hindus. Unfortunately, Pakistan does not seem to have changed much in the treatment of its minorities. It certainly lacks credentials to defame India,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
The “uncivilized outburst” of Pakistan’s foreign minister appears to be the result of “Pakistan’s growing inability to use terrorists and their proxies”, the ministry said.
“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 has been exported to all regions of the world. ‘Make in Pakistan terrorism must stop.’
India said Pakistan is a country that glorifies Osama bin Laden as a martyr and harbors 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,” the statement said.
“We wish the Pakistani Foreign Minister had listened more sincerely yesterday in the UN Security Council to the testimony of Mrs. Anjali Kulthe, a nurse from Mumbai who saved the lives of 20 pregnant women from the bullets of Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab. To put it plainly, the foreign minister was more interested in whitewashing Pakistan’s role. Pakistan FM’s frustration would be better directed at the masterminds of terrorist corporations in his own country, who have made terrorism part of their policy of “State. Pakistan must change its own mentality or remain a pariah,” the government said.
Union ministers also condemned the comments, calling Bilawal Bhutto “mentally bankrupt and irresponsible”.
“The language used by Pakistan’s foreign minister shows that he not only represents a bankrupt country, but that he is also mentally bankrupt,” said Meenakshi Lekhi, the junior foreign minister.
“He is the representative of a bankrupt state and is himself bankrupt, so Pakistan is also bankrupt. What can you expect from those with a terrorist mindset?”
Anurag Thakur, the Union Information and Broadcasting Minister, called the remarks “infamous and shameful”.
“Maybe they (Pakistan) are still feeling the pain of 1971. More than 93,000 Pakistani soldiers surrendered before India that day. His grandfather (Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, former President of Pakistan) cried when they lost,” Anurag Thakur told reporters.
“Pakistan’s soil has been used to prepare, shield and shield terrorism. Their nefarious plans have been exposed to the world,” Mr Thakur said.
Yesterday Foreign Minister Jaishankar said in a blistering attack on Pakistan: ‘My advice is to clean up your act and try to be a good neighbour. Hillary Clinton, during her visit to Pakistan, said stated that if you keep snakes in your garden, you can ‘Don’t expect them to bite just your neighbors, they will eventually bite the people who keep them in the garden.’
Prime Minister Modi has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the investigations into the 2002 riots in Gujarat. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal against his exoneration in one of the cases related to the murders.
More than 1,000 people have been killed in three-day violence in Gujarat and state police have been accused of not doing enough to stop riots which began after a wagon carrying pilgrims was set on fire at Godhra, killing 59 people.