Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that the “wolf whistling” about Pakistan “sponsoring” terrorism in India might be a good electioneering strategy but certainly not an effective counter-terrorism strategy.
In conversations with Indian media outlet, India Today, during his maiden visit to India, Bilawal spoke of terrorism, cooperation, bilateralism and India’s abolition of the special status of Kashmir.
“This wolf whistling around the word terrorism, that Pakistan was sponsoring terrorism in India was ultimately an Islamophobic wolf whistle, not only to whip up Hindu sentiment but also to browbeat Pakistan,” Bilawal said.
He said that Pakistan was willing to address any concerns that India might have but the other side will also have to address Islamabd’s concerns.
“India will have to explain what Kulbhushan Yadav, a state actor, a navy commander was doing in Pakistan carrying out terrorist attacks on Pakistan soil,” he said.
Bilawal said that it was Pakistan’s one such complaint as Samjhota Express incident was yet to see justice, as well as the Lahore terror attack.
He also pointed out that while the trial for Mumbai attacks was subjudice in Pakistan, India acquitted everyone accused of involvement in the Samjhota Express incident.
“If we are going to turn the issue of terrorism into a political point, we will not be able to resolve it,” Bilawal
The foreign minister also said that Pakistan was the only nation to have addressed the two FATF objectives, one of which was counter-terrorism.
Moreover, Bilawal said that Pakistan’s position on bilateral relations with India or a meaningful engagement with the country remains the same as long as New Delhi reviews the unilateral actions taken on August 5, 2019.
He also called for international and regional cooperation to deal with the potential threat of an increase in terrorism after the “fall of Kabul” if they truly wanted to solve the issue of militancy.
Responding to the question about incidents against minorities in Pakistan, Bilawal said that such incidents happen in Pakistan, India and everywhere else in the world but the difference was how the responsible states react to that.
He then asked about the culprits of gang rapes of Muslim women in Gujarat during the 2002 riots, who had been recently pardoned by the Indian government.
“What sort of message did it send to Muslims,” he asked.
Moreover, the foreign minister also raised the question why India was unwilling to hold referendum in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir as per the United Nations resolutions.