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India should end involvement in terrorism, subversion against Pakistan: FO

Rejects Indian external affairs minister’s remarks against Pakistan as reflective of India’s growing frustration

Pakistan on Wednesday rejected as “baseless and frivolous” the accusations made by the Indian External Affairs Minister, saying that his latest tirade was a reflection of growing frustration over India’s failure to malign and isolate Pakistan.

Responding to media queries regarding a series of recent statements made by the Indian Minister of External Affairs targeting Pakistan, the Foreign Office spokesperson said that for the last several years, India had engaged in a malicious campaign to mislead the international community through a fictitious narrative of victimhood and vile anti-Pakistan propaganda.

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“This practice must stop. India’s continued anti-Pakistan diatribe could not hide its brazen involvement in fomenting terrorism on Pakistan’s soil; nor can it conceal the reality of state-sponsored terrorism in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK)”, the FO spokesperson said. The spokesperson said that instead of pointing fingers at others, India should itself end its involvement in terrorism, subversion and espionage against Pakistan.

Only a few weeks ago, a dossier was released containing irrefutable evidence that substantiated India’s involvement in the 2021 terrorist attack in a peaceful Lahore neighbourhood. From the death of over 40 Pakistani nationals on Indian soil in the 2007 Samjhota Express tragedy to the arrest of Kulbhushan Jadhav, a serving Commander of Indian Navy, from within Pakistan in 2016, the evidence of Indian involvement in terrorism and sabotage is irrefutable and spans over decades and geographies, the spokesperson added.

Jaishankar made the remarks on Monday during a joint press conference with his Austrian counterpart Alexander Schallenberg while on a two-nation visit to Austria and Cyprus. “Since the epicentre [of terrorism] is located so close to India, naturally, our experiences and insights are useful to others,” Jaishankar had said, after making a mention of “cross-border practises” of terrorism.

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That same day, Jaishankar said that he “could use much harsher words [for Pakistan] than epicentre” during an interview on program ZIB 2 on Austria’s national broadcaster ORF, when the host remarked that the use of the word “epicentre […] doesn’t sound very diplomatic”. He added “Considering what has been happening to us, I think epicentre is a very diplomatic word.” The Foreign Office (FO) on Wednesday “strongly condemned the insensitive and provocative visit” of Israel’s new far-right national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir to the Al Aqsa mosque compound a day earlier.

The visit had angered Palestinians and drew a slew of condemnations – including from the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkiye and Jordan. In a statement today, the FO asserted, “Al Aqsa [mosque] is a holy site revered by Muslims around the world.” It added that a “violation of its sanctity offends the religious sensitivities of Muslims and inflames an already tense situation in the occupied Palestinian territories”.

The FO demanded that “Israel must cease its illegal actions and respect the sanctity of Muslim religious sites in the occupied Palestinian territories.” The statement reiterated Pakistan’s “strong support for the legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people”. It also renewed Pakistan’s call for a “viable, independent and contiguous Palestinian State with pre-1967 borders” and with Al Quds (Jerusalem) as its capital, in accordance with the relevant United Nations and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation resolutions.


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