ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Sunday rejected as ‘baseless’ and ‘unfounded’ charges from New Delhi that it was behind the mass exodus of students and workers from India’s northeast who continue to flee from Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai and other cities for fear of being attacked by Muslims.
“We totally reject these allegations and insinuations. They are totally baseless and unfounded. Such unsubstantiated statements are not very helpful in creating a conducive environment necessary for improving the relationship between ourtwo countries,” the Spokesman at the Foreign Office told The News.
According to Indian media reports, thousands of students and workers from India’s northeast fled Mumbai, Bangalore and other cities, fearing retaliation for recent violence against the Muslims in Assam, one of the states in their far-flung corners of the country. Special trains had to be arranged as crowds thronged the railway stations to return home.
The false rumours of Muslim revenge attacks were fuelled by threats posted on social media websites and spread through text messages. Migrants were also alarmed by misleading images that purported to show victims of mass killings. Subsequently, the government banned bulk text messages.
Using the social media appears to be the new challenge faced by India and Pakistan, in their bilateral relations, but the Indian charges have irked Islamabad which cautions that once again New Delhi is using the media to conduct diplomacy instead of acting in a more responsible manner and sharing information.
The spokesman further added that the tools of modern technology were not in the hand of a single person or capital, and the insinuations coming from New Delhi were simply jumping to conclusions, which was not very helpful.
“There has been to my knowledge no formal contact between the two sides has been made and our high commissioner in New Delhi has not been contacted so far,” added the spokesman.
But perhaps pointing fingers towards Pakistan and trying to ‘externalise’ a very serious problem is not going to help anyone in the long term. The decade-long unrest in India’s northeast, and communal unrest are part of the current history and cannot be shoved across the border.
Perhaps, the very thought of some people being so powerful that they have succeeded in creating an ‘exodus’ in India led to this tweet on the social media. A tweet by @PakNationalists says it all. “#IndianObsession: says #Pakistan used mobile text msgs to force 1000s Indians to flee cities! A superpower wannabe with brain of a mouse!?