Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari defended his remarks against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in which he had called the latter the “Butcher of Gujarat”, saying that he was “referring to a historical reality”.
Foreign Minister Bilawal engaged in a war of words with his Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar’s remarks, who, for two days in a row, had called Pakistan “the host of Osama bin Laden” and the “perpetrator of terrorism.”
Responding to these remarks, Bilawal had called Narendra Modi the “Butcher of Gujarat”, adding that instead of being punished for the 2002 massacre of over 2,000 Muslims in Gujarat, he was made the prime minister.
Following the remarks of Bilawal, there was an uproar in India. The workers of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) staged protests in parts of the country, including outside the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Foreign Minister Bilawal said: “I was referring to a historical reality. The remarks I used were not my own.” He said that he did not invent the term for Modi. Rather, the Muslims in India used that term for Modi following the Gujarat riots.
WATCH: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, one of the country's most high-profile politicians, defends comments about Indian leader Narendra Modi that sparked an uproar between the long-feuding neighbors. Via @BloombergTV
— Bloomberg TV (@BloombergTV) December 20, 2022
He added that India believes “repeating history is a personal insult”.
“It’s been two days since my remark — a member of Mr Modi’s party has announced a 20 million rupee bounty on my head. So, I don’t think the best way to disprove the fact that Mr Modi is the ‘Butcher of Gujarat’ is to adopt such extreme steps,” Bilawal added.