‘New low even for Pakistan,’ says India on Bilawal Bhutto’s comments about Narendra Modi
On Thursday, the Pakistani foreign minister had described the Indian prime minister as the ‘butcher of Gujarat’, referring to the 2002 communal riots.
India on Friday said that Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s comments describing Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the “butcher of Gujarat” was a new low for the neighbouring country.
The comments were an “uncivilised outburst” and seemed to be a result of Pakistan’s “increasing inability to use terrorists and their proxies”, India’s foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a statement.
The Bharatiya Janata Party called Zardari’s comments “highly shameful” and said it will hold protests in all the state capitals across the country on Saturday.
At a press conference on Thursday, Zaradari had made the remarks after India’s Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said at the United Nations that Pakistan was the epicentre of terrorism. Jaishankar had said that Pakistan glorifies Osama bin Laden as a martyr, and shelters terrorists like Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar, Sajid Mir and Dawood Ibrahim.
In response, Zardari said: “I would like to remind Mr Jaishankar that Osama bin Laden is dead, but the butcher of Gujarat lives, and he is the prime minister [of India].” The Pakistani foreign minister’s comments were apparently in reference to the 2002 Gujarat riots when Modi was the chief minister of the state. The communal violence killed nearly 2,000 people – most of them Muslims.
In its statement, India’s foreign ministry said that Zardari should direct his “frustration towards the masterminds of terrorist enterprises in his own country”.
“These comments are a new low, even for Pakistan,” the ministry added.
The spokesperson also said cities such as New York, Mumbai, Pulwama, Pathankot and London are among the many that bear the scars of “Pakistan-sponsored, supported and instigated terrorism”. The statement said that Pakistan needs to change its own mindset or remain a “pariah”.