Pakistan Criticized India for Accusing the country of Harboring Osama bin Laden, Foreign Minister then made a controversial remark about Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. External affairs ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi protested and said “these comments are a new low, even for Pakistan”
Pakistan on Friday lashed out at India for accusing it of harboring Osama bin Laden, its foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari telling the media at the United Nations: “Osama bin Laden is dead but the Butcher of Gujarat lives. And, he is the Prime Minister of India.”
India Issued a Strong Condemnation of Pakistan’s Foreign Minister’s Insulting Remark, in a long statement condemning the “uncivilized” remarks. External affairs ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said — “These comments are a new low, even for Pakistan.”
Bagchi recalled the genocide in East Pakistan that led to the creation of Bangladesh in 1971 and the terrorist attacks in cities across the world that bear the fingerprints of Pakistan-sponsored terrorist groups and said no other country had as many UN-designated terrorists as Pakistan.
“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.
Mr. Bagchi’s comments were resounded 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 that 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.
Bilawal Bhutto’s comment on Modi came at the UN News conference
At a United Nations news conference, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister was asked about India’s reference to Osama bin Laden, whose killing by US forces near Pakistan’s military academy had caused controversy.
Referring to a US visa ban on Narendra Modi, imposed after the 2002 riots in Gujarat and lifted once the BJP won the 2014 elections under him, Bilawal said: “He was banned from entering this country till he became Prime Minister.”
He added: “This is the Prime Minister of the RSS and the foreign minister of the RSS. What is the RSS? The RSS draws its inspiration from Hitler’s SS.”
Bilawal then brought up Jaishankar’s unveiling of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the UN in New York.
“If the foreign minister of India was being honest, then he knows as well as I that the RSS does not believe in Gandhi, in the ideology of Gandhi, in the manifesto of Gandhi. They do not see this individual as the founder of India. They hero-worship the terrorist that assassinated Gandhi,” he said.
Bilawal also noted the issue of the pardon granted to the rapist-murderers in the Bilkis Bano case ahead of the Gujarat elections.
Spokesperson Bagchi said Pakistan lacked the credentials to cast aspersions on India. Bilawal’s outburst “seems to be a result of Pakistan’s increasing inability to use terrorists and their proxies” as his country’s role in sponsoring terrorists “remains under the scanner”, he said.
In an uncharacteristically long response, India said New York, Mumbai, Pulwama, Pathankot, and London were among the many cities that bore the scars of terrorism sponsored, supported, and instigated by Pakistan.
“‘Make in Pakistan’ terrorism has to stop,” Bagchi said. India said Pakistan glorified Osama as a martyr and sheltered terrorists like Lakhvi, Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar, Sajid Mir, and Dawood Ibrahim.
The BJP called Bilawal’s remarks “shameful and derogatory” and said it would hold protests on Saturday.
“Does Bilawal Bhutto even have the stature to comment about our Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi who is a true statesman and a highly respected global leader?” the BJP asked.
Meanwhile, All India Sufi Sajjadanashin Council chairman Naseeruddin Chisti on Saturday condemned Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto’s remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying the language he used downgraded the position of not only his portfolio but also of his entire nation.
“I strongly condemn the venomous language used by the Pakistani foreign minister against our prime minister and our motherland,” he said.