Pakistan rejected on Saturday a statement issued by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs against Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto’s remarks about Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying it is a “reflection of India’s growing frustration over its failure in isolating Pakistan”.
At a press briefing in New York earlier, Bilawal had said, “Osama Bin Laden is dead but the Butcher of Gujarat and the prime minister of India is alive. The prime minister and foreign minister are of RSS which derives inspiration from Hitler.”
He had said the RSS (Rashtriya Sevak Sangh) did not believe in the ideology of Gandhi but instead treated his killer as a hero. It evoked official Indian as well extremist Hindu BJP’s rage against Pakistan and its foreign minister.
Indian Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi responded to FM Bilawal’s statement, saying the Pakistan foreign minister’s “frustration” should be directed towards “terrorist enterprises” in his own country. He termed the Pakistan FM’s remark a “personal attack against Modi”.
On Saturday, Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said in a detailed statement that India is desperately using international platforms to advance its agenda to defame and target Pakistan after being unable to prevent Pakistan’s exit from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey list and international recognition of Pakistan’s counterterrorism efforts.
The FO spokesperson said 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, she said.
Baloch said the fact of the matter is that the masterminds of the Gujarat massacre have escaped justice and now hold key government positions in India.
She added that BJP’s Hindutva ideology has given rise to a climate of hate, divisiveness and impunity. No verbosity can hide the crimes of the “Saffron terrorists” in India, she added.
The acquittal of the mastermind and perpetrators of the heinous attack on Delhi-Lahore Samjhota Express, that killed 40 Pakistani nationals on Indian soil, demonstrates the massacre of justice under the RSS-BJP dispensation, the statement read.
She said Hindutva supremacists have been unleashed to exercise cow vigilantism, ransack places of worship, and attack religious congregations. Intimidation and demonisation of religious minorities receives official patronage in states across India, she added.
India peddles a fictitious narrative of victimhood, that itself is a perpetrator of repression in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and a sponsor and financier of terrorist groups in South Asia, she said.
She said only this week a dossier was released 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 FO spokesperson highlighted.
The spokesperson said for a country with a grandiose vision about itself and its place in the world, India is following a policy of pettiness towards its neighbours.
“We are confident that the international community would look through this facade and the dream of RSS-BJP to turn South Asia in its image will remain unrealised,” she concluded.