India-Pakistan row over Modi barb

Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam says Mr. Modi’s remarks were "most unfortunate"

Updated - November 16, 2021 05:43 pm IST

Published - August 14, 2014 12:28 am IST - NEW DELHI:

A week before Foreign Secretary talks between India and Pakistan, a spat broke out between the two countries over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech in Leh, where he accused Pakistan of continuing a “proxy war” against India.

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry described Mr. Modi’s “reported remarks” as “baseless rhetoric against Pakistan.” Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said Mr. Modi’s remarks were “most unfortunate” and said it would be better if the countries don’t engage in “a blame game”.

A few hours later, India responded sharply to the statement, with External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin defending Mr. Modi’s remarks in Leh as an “articulation of India’s core concerns with Pakistan.”

Referring to the attack on Parliament in 2000 and the Mumbai attacks in 2008, Mr. Akbaruddin said, “Mere denials or selective approaches to terrorism are not going to drive away our terrorism concerns.”

When asked if talks between Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh and her Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhury, scheduled for August 25, would be affected by the PM’s remarks and the Pakistani reaction, the spokesperson said,

“We will take up the issue of terrorism with all means available to us. Our toolkit is not restricted in any manner.”

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