Bilawal Bhutto’s comments on PM Modi uncivilised: India

“These comments are a new low, even for Pakistan... perpetrators of the 26/11 attacks as well as mastermind of the 1993 Mumbai blasts, all remain free in that country,” says External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi

December 16, 2022 05:11 pm | Updated December 18, 2022 02:04 pm IST - New Delhi

Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. File

Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. File | Photo Credit: AP

India lashed out at Pakistan on Friday for what it termed an “uncivilised outburst” by Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, stating that cities across the world “bear the scars” of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism.

The comments are a continuation of a heated exchange that began at a United Nations Security Council briefing on counter-terrorism in New York on Thursday, where External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar had described Pakistan as the “epicentre of terrorism”.

In his response, Mr. Bhutto Zardari had said, “Osama bin Laden is dead. But the butcher of Gujarat lives and he is the Prime Minister of India.”

Also Read | Pakistan rejects India’s criticism of Foreign Minister Bilawal’s ‘uncivilised’ outburst

“Pakistan Foreign Minister’s uncivilised outburst seems to be a result of Pakistan’s increasing inability to use terrorists and their proxies,” said Arindam Bagchi, official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs. “We wish that Pakistan Foreign Minister would have listened more sincerely yesterday [Thursday] at the UN Security Council to the testimony of Ms. Anjali Kulthe, a Mumbai nurse who saved the lives of 20 pregnant women from the bullets of the Pakistani terrorist, Ajmal Kasab. Clearly, the Foreign Minister was more interested in whitewashing Pakistan’s role.”

Mr. Bagchi further said that the perpetrators of the 26/11 attacks, Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar and Sajjad Mir, as well as the mastermind of the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts, Dawood Ibrahim, all remained free in Pakistan. “Cities like New York, Mumbai, Pulwama, Pathankot and London are among the many that bear the scars of Pakistan-sponsored and instigated terrorism. This violence has emanated from their Special Terrorist Zones and exported to all parts of the world. ‘Make in Pakistan’ terrorism has to stop,” said the spokesperson.

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Responding to Mr. Bhutto Zardari’s attack on the Prime Minister, Mr. Bagchi said: “These comments are a new low, even for Pakistan. The Foreign Minister of Pakistan has obviously forgotten this day in 1971 [Liberation of Bangladesh on December 16], which was a direct result of the genocide unleashed by Pakistani rulers against ethnic Bengalis and Hindus.”

“Unfortunately, Pakistan does not seem to have changed much in the treatment of its minorities. It certainly lacks credentials to cast aspersions at India,” Mr. Bagchi said.

Also Read | BJP workers stage protest against Pakistan Minister’s remarks about PM Modi

Mr. Bagchi’s comments were echoed by Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi who pointed out that Pakistan’s record as a terror-sponsor had led to its inclusion in the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). “If a Foreign Minister of a country is making such a statement, it doesn’t hold him well. This is the country which was included in the grey list of FATF several times. The country he represents is incubating terrorism,” said Ms. Lekhi. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur also condemned Mr. Bhutto Zardari’s comments.

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