Rajat Sharma

Bilawal Bhutto’s ‘uncivilized’ remark against Modi smacks of frustration

akbThe remarks made against Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto at the United Nations are not only “uncivilized”, but appears to be a knee-jerk reaction to our External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar’s remark about Pakistan “hosting Osama bin Laden”.

Indian External Affairs Ministry on Friday called out Bilawal Bhutto’s remarks as “uncivilized even by Pakistan’s standards” and reminded him about the 1971 genocide of millions of people in Bangladesh at the hands of the Pakistan Army.

There have been protests in Jammu, Mumbai and other cities by BJP workers against Bilawal Bhutto describing Modi as “butcher of Gujarat”. While speaking at the UN briefing room on Thursday, Bilawal Bhutto 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). He (Narendra Modi) was banned from entering this country (the United States). These are the prime minister and foreign minister of RSS, which draws inspiration from Hitler’s SS.”

And what did our External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar say a few minutes earlier? He was responsing to Pakistan’s junior foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar, who had described India as “the biggest perpetrator of terrorism”.

Jaishankar said, Hina Rabbani Khar’s remarks reminded him of former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who, during her visit to Islamabad more than a decade ago, had reminded Pakistan, that “if you have snakes in your backyard, you cannot expect them to bite only your neighbours.”

Jaishankar said, Pakistan “is not great at listening to good advice.. and now look what’s happening there. Today, it is the epicentre of terrorism… and it has its fingerprints over a lot of activities in the region and beyond.”

While slamming Pakistan for raising Kashmir issue in the UN Security Council, Jaishankar said, ” a country that hosted Osama bin Laden and attacked its neighbouring country’s parliament does not have the credentials to sermonize in the UN Security Council.”

The epithets used against our PM by Bilawal Bhutto is not expected from any leader of the world. Bilawal is the Foreign Minister of Pakistan. The people of Pakistan is describing his remark as foolish. He has probably forgotten that the army makes or breaks a government in Pakistan, and it was because of the army’s support that he has become the Foreign Minister. And Narendra Modi has been elected prime minister not once, but twice, in general elections by 135 crore Indians. The people of Gujarat elected him chief minister thrice and again reposed their trust in the recent elections.

Modi is a statesman who is adored by most of the people in India. India will never tolerate such cheap remarks about its leader by the foreign minister of Pakistan. Nobody would have known Bilawal Bhutto, had he not been the son of Late Benazir Bhutto and the grandson of Late Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Modi hailed from a poor family, fought against all odds throughout his life and won the affection of the people.

One must go through the reply given by S. Jaishankar, when a Pakistani channel Geo News reporter asked him, for how long will India, Pakistan and Afghanistan fight terrorism.

Jaishankar replied: “I think you are putting this question before the wrong person. It is the minister from Pakistan who may be able to tell you till what time Pakistan will carry on with its policy of terrorism. You must understand that the people of the world are not fools. The world’s memory is not weak.”

“The world today is putting such individuals, organizations and countries in the dock, who promote terrorism. You cannot hide the reality by diverting the debate. You cannot mislead people. The people know the truth. My advice is, please put your house in order, become a good neighbour…You also do the same thing which the rest of the world is trying to do, that is, economic growth, progress and development. I hope my words will reach you government through your channel.”

No wonder, Jaishankar had pointed his finger which hurt the Pakistani foreign minister. He reminded Hina Rabbani Khar about Pakistan’s role in terrorism, and showed the mirror to Pakistan. In desperation, Bilawal Bhutto used words like “butcher”, “Hitler’s SS” against our Prime minister. Several Pakistani foreign policy experts said, Bilawal Bhutto may have become the foreign minister, but he has no knowledge about niceties in diplomacy.

Bilawal Bhutto’s harsh remarks came on a historic day, when Pakistan was dismembered by India in the 1971 war, that led to the creation of Pakistan. More than 91,000 Pakistani soldiers had to surrender before the Indian army. India celebrates this day as ‘Vijay Diwas’ (Victory Day) every year.

Bilawal Bhutto’s remarks evoked protests by BJP workers, led by its youth wing chief Tejaswi Surya, outside the Pakistani High Commission in Delhi. The protesters burnt Bilawal Bhutto’s effigies in Delhi, Jammu and Mumbai. Congress leader Pramod Tiwari said, all the parties are united in condemning such abusive remarks by our Prime Minister by any foreign country. Tiwari said, “Bilawal’s grandfather was threatening to launch a thousand year war against India”.

Bilawal Bhutto’s anger is understandable. The Indian External Affairs Minister exposed Pakistan’s duplicity on the issue of terrorism at the United Nations. S. Jaishankar deserves praise for showing the mirror to Pakistan. Pakistani leaders must remember that it was Modi who first extended the hand of friendship by visited Lahore, but Pakistan responded by carrying out terror attacks in Uri and Pulwama. Modi replied to these attacks by ordering surgical strikes deep inside Pakistan. Modi tried to teach Pakistan in its own language.

After every surgical strike, the Pakistani establishment sought support from world leaders, but was cold shouldered. Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed was declared a terrorist. Even China failed to help Pakistan. Bilawal Bhutto’s remark about Modi smacks of deep frustration. His harsh remarks have invited critisms from his own countrymen.

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