In one of his sharpest attacks on Pakistan over terrorism and Jammu & Kashmir, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar recently, at the SCO FM meet in Goa, lambasted his Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari for acting as a “promoter, justifier and a spokesperson” of the terror industry.
Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar gave a cold shoulder to Pakistan’s Foreign Minister’s visit. Dr S Jaishankar said that Bilawal Bhutto Zardari visited India as the Foreign Minister of an SCO Member State, and that is part of multilateral diplomacy. He also urged that the visit should not be seen as anything more than that.
Dr S Jaishankar said, “As a Foreign Minister of an SCO member State, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was treated accordingly. As a promoter, justifier and a spokesperson of a terrorism industry, which is the mainstay of Pakistan, his positions were called out and they were countered including at the SCO meeting itself.”
“You know, victims of terrorism do not sit together with perpetrators of terrorism to discuss terrorism. The victims of terrorism, defend themselves, counter acts of terrorism, they call it out, they delegitimise it and that is exactly what is happening.”
“So, to come here and preach these hypocritical words, as though we are on the same boat, I mean, they are committing acts of terrorism. And you know, I don’t want to jump the gun on what happened today (referring to the attack in Jammu & Kashmir in which 5 soldiers were killed), but I think we are all feeling equally outraged. Let’s be very, very clear on this terrorism matter. I will say Pakistan’s credibility is depleting even faster than its forex reserves,” he said.
Responding to questions on Pakistan raising objections to India hosting G20 meetings in Srinagar, he said, “They have nothing to do with G20. In fact, they have nothing to do with Kashmir. There is only one issue to discuss on Kashmir, which is when does Pakistan vacate its illegal occupation of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.” He said Jammu & Kashmir “was, is and will” always be part of India.
Responding to another question on Bilawal Bhutto Zardari raising the issue of revocation of Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir, he said, “Wake up and smell the coffee. Article 370 is history.”
On Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s comment that “let’s not get caught up in weaponising terrorism for diplomatic point-scoring”, Dr S Jaishankar said it “unconsciously reveals a mindset”.
“What does weaponising something mean? …It means that the activity is legitimate. But it’s not. Now what are we doing? We are countering this, we are defending ourselves. We are calling it out. We are not scoring diplomatic points. We are politically and diplomatically exposing Pakistan before the world,” he said.
On the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Dr S Jaishankar said it was made very clear that connectivity is good for progress, but it cannot violate the territorial integrity and sovereignty of States.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, called his visit to India for the Shanghai Cooperation Operation (SCO) Foreign Ministers Summit a “success.”
His comments came hours after the Indian External Minister S Jaishankar accused Bhutto of being “a promoter, justifier and spokesperson of a terrorism industry which is the mainstay of Pakistan.”
According to a report by Dawn, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also said that he does not want to see either Pakistan or India fall victim to terrorism. He added, “People would continue dying until we keep politicising this issue and become part of the geopolitical game being played in the world and this region.”
“A false narrative is being propagated by the Indian Foreign Minister.. and this narrative has been damaged by my visit to India, my speaking and my stand,” Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said.
Well, the statements given by Pakistan’s Foreign Minister display a callous attitude of an ignorant country. They are trying to evade reality and are more interested in the stale and old blame game rather than solving the impediments at hand.
The befitting replies that India is providing are evident enough to say that India is not ready to downplay the issues which India’s neighbours like Pakistan and China are ready to happily ignore and stick their necks in the sand. India is taking action without shying away from the public sphere as it used to happen in the past.