No country has used terrorism better for their benefit than India, said Minister of the State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar while addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Wednesday, in which she highlighted India’s problematic role in furthering terrorism in the region.
Her presser came after Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah’s revelation that India’s footprints are seen in all terror activities carried out in Pakistan. The minister had said that New Delhi’s activities have gone “beyond that of an enemy state” just to hide its atrocities in occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).
Sanaullah’s presser had focused on the blast in Lahore’s Johar Town in 2021.
Evidence reflects India’s persistent hostility towards Pakistan
Khar said that there was “clear evidence” of the terrorist attack being “planned and supported” by India. “It reflects India’s persistent hostility towards my country and the use of terrorist proxies to achieve terrorist objectives.”
She started the news conference by saying that terrorism poses a serious threat to peace, adding that Pakistan had been at the receiving end of this scourge for long.
She said that when there was “undeniable, indisputable” evidence and it was necessary to “call a spade a spade”.
“This particular effort is to bring to the attention of the world and to expect them and encourage them to see things based on evidence.”
The minister of state for foreign affairs called on international organisations like the United Nations and Financial Action Task Force to take responsibility for holding India accountable.
She added that the Foreign Secretary Asad Majeed Khan had called the members of diplomatic corps in Islamabad and shared Pakistan’s dossier.
“This dossier has detailed evidence of how India has been found to be fully behind this incident that led to this loss of life,” said Khar on the Johar Town blast.
The state minister said that Pakistan does not unlike, India, go the next day blame one country or the other.
“We waited till we had strong hard evidence to be making the case we are making today,” said the state minister.
She added that Islamabad believes that such objectives would harm Indian as well because when one tries to burn their neighbour’s house, the fire will come and burn them as well.
The state minister said that the law enforcement agencies and judicial authorities have brought the front men of the attack to justice.
“The masterminds and the facilitators remain at large and under Indian state patronage and protection. I assure you that the Government of Pakistan will pursue this relentlessly,” said Khar.
‘New Delhi continuously uses terrorist proxies’
The minister said that New Delhi continuously uses terrorist proxies and gives blatant support to Baloch militant organisations.
“All of these point to one objective and one method, which is to ruin the peace in Pakistan and the method is terrorism. What India is doing can be called many things. One fragment of the sentence which describes it well is chronic terrorism syndrome,” said Khar.
She added that New Delhi was consistently paralysing United Nations Security Council’s sanctions regime by blocking the listing of Indian terrorists aided and financed by the state of India.
“I have four names here which are of Indian nationals whose listing has been blocked by India. Gobinda Patnaik, Parthasarathy, Rajesh Kumar, and Dungara. All four names blocked by India in UNSC listing.,” said Khar.
The state minister reminded New Delhi that it cannot have islands of excellence in a sea of depravity.
“When you try and harm your region, you actually end up harming yourself,” she added.
“No country has used terrorism better for their benefit than India,” the state minister said. She added that New Delhi portrays itself as the biggest victim but does not play any role in international counter-terrorism.
“When you compare Pakistan and India, Pakistan is always on the forefront of counter-terrorism, ensuring that the terrorism doesn’t continue to haunt us,” the state minister said.
She said that India continues to divert attention from state-sponsored terrorism and human rights violations in IIOJK.
“India continues to be what I call a rogue state,” the minister said. She added that it was “ironic” that India was beating the drum of terrorism in UNSC.
“It has been caught red-handed in this particular incident orchestrating terrorist attacks in its neighbouring country,” she added, advising New Delhi to desist from this policy.
“India’s unabated slip into the abyss of extremism being clouded by this growing emerging India narrative,” said Khar. She urged the United Nations and Financial Action Task Force to hold India accountable for its terrorist actions.
“The Lahore incident for us is a test case for the credibility and integrity of international counter-terrorism and counter-financing terrorism regime,” the minister said.
‘How much is too much?’
In response to a question, Khar said it was easy to dodge blame when there is no evidence to back it, but when an Indian agent is caught, it is evident that New Delhi is sponsoring terrorism.
“In the last three years, 211 individuals of law enforcement agencies have been attacked through raw-sponsored attacks. There have been 1,213 attacks in Pakistan in the last three years where we have evidence that they were RAW-sponsored,” she said.
While describing some of the major terror incidents in Pakistan, the minister said India was involved in attacks on Peral Continental Hotel, Gwadar (May 11, 2019); Chinese Consulate, Karachi (November 23, 2018); oil exploration company, Gwadar (October 15, 2020; suicide attack in Gwadar (August 20, 2021); another suicide attack on Frontier Corps in Panjgur and Noshki (February 2, 2022).
“How much is too much? And is this not too much? And how can we allow a country to use the terrorism drum on a platform like the Security Council,” she said, noting that due to countries like India, questions are raised on the credibility of UN institutions.
In response to another question, the state minister said Pakistan has made a good case on international forums, but noted that there are political and economic elements that stop the global community from taking cognisance against some states.
The Afghan trip
The state minister — answering a journalist’s query — also ruled out social media reports claiming that a senior Afghan official refused to meet her and stressed that she was very well received — as a guest should be.
“We are not concerned much with what’s happening on social media and ignore a lot of things […] but thank you for giving me the chance to answer this. Let me categorically say that there was no meeting that we demanded and it was denied.”
“We were only there for a certain number of hours and we could only attend a certain number of meetings. There is absolutely no truth in that whatsoever.”
The statement minister added: “In fact, if you were to ask me what is my assessment? I was very well received as I expected to be, there was no reason why I should not have been well received.”
Khar — without going into details — said she achieved “exactly” what she wanted to through the trip.