ISLAMABAD: India’s plan to embarrass Pakistan on a world forum backfired on Thursday when instead of focusing on India’s presidential statement on global counterterrorism at the UNSC, all attention was on Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and his right of reply, which provoked New Delhi into issuing a statement that got rebutted and rejected in a lengthy counter statement by the Foreign Office.
“With its statement, the Indian government has tried to hide behind subterfuge and canard to conceal the realities of the 2002 Gujarat massacre. It is a shameful story of mass killings, lynching, rape, and plunder. The fact is that the masterminds of the Gujarat massacre have escaped justice and now hold key government positions in India. No amount of verbosity can hide the crimes of the saffron terrorists in India.
“Hindutva, the political ideology of the ruling party, has given rise to a climate of hate, divisiveness, and impunity,” responded the Foreign Office.
India’s Minister for External Affairs Dr. S. Jaishankar, while speaking on global counterterrorism, pointed to Osama bin Laden’s having been allegedly found inside Pakistan.
A quick-witted Bilawal in his speech remarked, “I would like to remind Mr. Jaishankar that Osama bin Laden is dead, but the butcher of Gujarat lives, and he is the prime minister (of India). He was banned from entering this country (the United States). These are the prime minister and foreign minister of the RSS, which draws inspiration from Hitler’s SS.”
“The culture of impunity is now deeply embedded in Hindutva-driven politics in India. The acquittal of the mastermind and perpetrators of the heinous attack on the Delhi-Lahore Samjhota Express, which killed 40 Pakistani nationals on Indian soil, demonstrates the massacre of justice under the RSS-BJP dispensation. Intimidation and demonisation of religious minorities receive official patronage in states across India. Hindutva supremacists have been unleashed to exercise cow vigilantism, ransack places of worship and attack religious congregations,” added the Foreign Office in response.
The Foreign Office here was well prepared for Jaishankar’s address, in which he was expected to badmouth Pakistan and its alleged role in terrorism around the world. Pakistan launched a pincer attack, with Bilawal responding in his speech and press conference after Jaishankar spoke, while at home, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs released a dossier on India’s role in the Johar Town terrorist attack. The dossier was distributed to the foreign diplomat corps in Islamabad and the UN Secretary-General in New York.
The FO said: “As it peddles a fictitious narrative of victimhood, India is itself a perpetrator of repression in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and a sponsor and financier of terrorist groups in South Asia.” Only this week, a dossier containing irrefutable evidence substantiated India’s involvement in the 2021 terrorist attack in a peaceful Lahore neighbourhood.
“The evidence gathered with international support confirms that the Lahore attack was instigated, planned, and financed by the Indian state,” added the Foreign Office.
As the BJP tried to attack the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi for two days and Pakistani flags were being burned, attention continued to be on “The Butcher of Gujrat.”
The MEA statement, said the Foreign Office, is also a reflection of India’s growing frustration over its failure to malign and isolate Pakistan. After being unable to prevent Pakistan’s exit from the FATF Grey List in October and international recognition of Pakistan’s counterterrorism efforts, India is desperately using international platforms to advance its agenda to defame and target Pakistan.
For a country with a glorious vision of itself and its place in the world, India is following the policy of pettiness toward its neighbours. “We are confident that the international community will see through this facade, and the RSS-BJP’s dream of transforming South Asia into its image will remain unfulfilled,” the Foreign Office said.
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