Pakistan responds to India’s criticism of FM Bilawal Bhutto, says sign of Delhi’s growing frustration


ISLAMABAD: Following a war of words between the foreign ministers of Pakistan and India at the UN in New York, Islamabad rejected on Saturday New Delhi’s criticism of foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s harsh remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modicalling it a reflection of India’s growing frustration.
Since the change of military command in Pakistan on November 29, Islamabad has shifted its focus towards India, apparently to distract attention from pressing political and financial challenges at home. Soon after taking charge as the Pakistan’s new army chief, General Asim Munir rushed to the Line of Control (LoC) and vowed there to defend every inch of his country’s land against aggression. This was followed by Pakistan’s claim that India was allegedly involved in last year’s attack near the Lahore residence of 2008 Mumbai attacks mastermind and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Said.
Pakistan’s accusations culminated in more aggressive posturing when Bilawal attacked the Indian PM, prompting a stern reaction from New Delhi.
Responding to India’s ministry of external affairs (MEA) saying that Pakistan “lacked the credentials to cast aspersions at India”, Pakistan foreign office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said it was a reflection of India’s growing frustration over its failure to malign and isolate Pakistan “after being unable to prevent Pakistan’s exit from the FATF grey list in October and international recognition of Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts”.
“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 (sic),” the spokesperson added.
With its statement, Baloch 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. 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 claimed, adding that no verbosity could hide the crimes of the “saffron terrorists”.
She said 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 Samjhauta Express, which killed 40 Pakistani nationals on Indian soil, demonstrates the massacre of justice. Intimidation and demonisation of religious minorities receives official patronage in states across India,” Baloch claimed in a statement.


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