Monday March 20, 2023

BJP lawmaker put bounty on my head: Bilawal

FM Bilawal accused a member of India’s ruling BJP government of putting a bounty over his head

December 21, 2022
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. Twitter
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. Twitter

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has accused a member of India’s ruling BJP government of putting a bounty over his head, while there has been no reaction either from Prime Minister Narendra Modi or Minister for External Affairs Dr S Jaishankar to the call to ‘behead’ the son of the late Benazir Bhutto.

“The reaction in India to my speaking about historical facts, and reminding them of their own past, is a member of the ruling BJP putting a bounty on my head. It is an extreme reaction and underlines and reinforces the points I made at the UN,” tweeted the foreign minister.

While Bilawal did not give details of the bounty, the Indian media said that “amidst intense protests against Pakistan’s foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s remarks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday said he would give a Rs 2 crore reward to anyone beheading Bilawal.” It is expected that the Foreign Office will summon the Indian charge d’affaires at this brazen attack on Pakistan’s foreign minister.

On Tuesday, while reacting to another statement from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, the Foreign Office here responded: “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 of the matter is that the masterminds of the Gujarat massacre have escaped justice and now hold key government positions in India.”

While the rest of the world appears to have forgiven Modi and it is business as usual for most, the Foreign Office said no verbosity could 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.

“The culture of impunity is now deeply embedded in Hindutva-driven polity in India. The acquittal of the mastermind and perpetrators of the heinous attack on the Delhi-Lahore Samjhota Express, that killed 40 Pakistani nationals on Indian soil, demonstrates the massacre of justice under the RSS-BJP dispensation. Intimidation and demonisation of religious minorities receives official patronage in states across India. Hindutva supremacists have been unleashed to exercise cow vigilantism, ransack places of worship and attack religious congregations,” it added.

As the foreign minister starts his official engagements in Washington, he sent a reminder to say, “India peddles a fictitious narrative of victimhood, it is itself a perpetrator of repression in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and a sponsor and financier of terrorist groups in South Asia.”

In this regard while Delhi was calling out Islamabad on terror, the Foreign Office released a dossier containing irrefutable evidence that 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.

“The MEA statement is also a reflection of India’s growing frustration over its failure in maligning and isolating 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,” said the Foreign Office.

It pointed out that India with a grandiose vision about itself and its place in the world is following a policy of pettiness towards its neighbours. “We are confident that the international community would look through this facade and the RSS-BJP dream to turn South Asia in its image will remain unrealised”, said the Foreign Office.