India`s jingoistic rhetoric condemned

ISLAMABAD: Observing that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had acknowledged his country had helped anti-Pakistan elements during the events of 1971, Islamabad on Wednesday called on the global community to take note of India`s admission that it carries out subversive activities to destabilise sovereign countries.

Key ministers, including Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Khawaja Asif, also lashed out at the provocative statements and actions coming from the Indian side.

`Such statements only confirm Pakistan`s stance on India`s activities to destabilise Pakistan,` said Sartaj Aziz, the PM`s special adviser on foreign affairs, in a policy statement on the floor of the Senate.

He said it was regrettable that Indian politicians not only indulged in actions that were in violation of the United Nations charter, but also took pride in recalling their interference in the internal affairs of other states.

He termed Mr Modi`s statement at Dhaka University describing Pakistan as a `nuisance` most unfortunate, considering that Pakistan pursued apolicy of good neighbourly relations.

`Such statements not only vitiate the atmosphere and put a question mark on India`s sincerity [towards] establishing good relations with Pakistan, but also contribute towards shrinking the constituency for peace by negatively affecting public perception,` he remarked.

Mr Aziz noted that such an open admission of Indian designs against Pakistan`s territorial integrity at the highest political level pointed to the subversive role past and present played by India`s intelligence agencies by supporting anti-Pakistan and terrorist elements, as a matter of state policy. `This is a serious issue, which the world and the UN should take note of,` he stressed.

This was a reference to remarks made by Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, when he advocated the use of terrorists to counter a terrorist threat, saying, `you have to neutralise terrorist through terrorist only`.

`We will not allow any other country to unsettle Pakistan,` Mr Aziz said.

He said that it was ironic that while in Bangladesh, Mr Modi also tried to make a case for India`s permanent membership of United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

`How could they make that claim in the face of the fact that India has been in violation of UNSC`s longstanding resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir,` he asked.

He regretted that the Indian PM chose Bangladesh to make such statements, which are no doubt aimed at fanning hatred against Pakistan within Bangladesh.

He assured the upper house that Pakistan would take all possible steps at the diplomatic level to expose India`s role in the breakup of Pakistan in 1971 and its declared policy of destabilising Pakistan through terrorism.

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif also reacted sharply to Mr Modi`s remarks and said that the Indian PM had soured the cordial atmosphere that had developed between the two countries.

Speaking to reporters outside parliament, he said that if the Indians tried to make good on their threats, they would be given a befitting response.

He called Mr Modi`s statement an attempt to reopen old wounds and had all but scuttled the momentum around peace talks between the two countries.

`Not Myanmar` Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan also took strong exception to the threats coming from New Delhi and warned those contemplating `any kind of misadventure in Pakistan`.

Mr Khan was referring to statements made by India`s State Minister for Information Rajyavardhan Rathore following an Indian raid on an alleged terrorist hideout in neighbouring Myanmar.

According to the Indian media, the attack was carried out on the basis of `credible intelligence` that these terrorists were planning another attack on Indian soil, similar to the ambush that claimed the lives of nearly 20 people in the state of Manipur.

Mr Rathore, appearing on Arnab Goswami`s show on the Times Now channel, explicitly stated that the Myanmar raid should serve as a warning to Pakistan. `If Pakistan attempts strikes into India, we will strike back at the time and place of our own choosing,` he said.

Warning India that they must not have any illusions, the interior minister said, `Pakistan is not Myanmar.

Speaking at a press conference in Islamabad on Wednesday, he made it clear that threatening remarks from Indian ministers would not cow Pakistan and that the people and the government of Pakistan wanted peace in the region.

However, he said that while PM Nawaz Sharif had attended Mr Modi`s inauguration in the hopes of building better ties between the two traditional rivals, he regretted that Pakistan got nothing in return and the doors for dialogue were closed by the other side.

The interior minister said that while the people of Pakistan desired peace, they would never accept India`s hegemony.

Published in Dawn