The Foreign Office on Saturday rejected Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar’s comments. He accused Pakistan of justifying terror as a policy and for the frail relations between the two countries.
In a statement, the Foreign Office said Pakistan “completely rejects these unwarranted and tendentious comments”.
The Indian minister had claimed during a recent online think-tank event that the Pakistani government justified using terrorism as a policy, making it very hard to conduct relations, according to a report by Indian news outlet The Print.
“We don’t have a normal visa relationship, they are very restrictive on that score. They have blocked connectivity between India and Afghanistan and from Afghanistan to India,” the report quoted Jaishankar as saying. “Normal neighbours do visas and trade, they give you connectivity and most important they don’t practice terrorism. And I think until we address that problem, this challenge of how do you have a normal relationship with this very unique neighbour is a very troubling issue for our foreign policy.”Rejecting the minister’s comments, the Foreign Office said instead of focusing on its human rights violations in occupied Kashmir, India was resorting to “fabrications and baseless allegations against Pakistan”. “Rather than reflect on its own egregious behaviour marked by illegal and unilateral actions in IIOJK, gross and systematic violations of human rights of unarmed and innocent Kashmiris, unabashed anti-minority policies and actions, incessantly bellicose statements against Pakistan, and aggressive steps in the shape of intensified violations of ceasefire along the Line of Control, India resorts to fabrications and baseless allegations against Pakistan.
“Clearly, an acknowledged perpetrator of state-terrorism cannot masquerade as a ‘victim’ of terrorism,” the statement said.
The FO pointed out that India portrayed Kashmiris killed in fake “encounters” and “cordon-and-search” operations as terrorists to divert the attention of the international community from the its atrocities in the occupied valley, which it said reflected the “moral bankruptcy of the Indian leadership”.
“The so-called preachers of trade and connectivity should also tell the world as to who is blocking regional cooperation and the Saarc (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) process, with its next summit pending since 2016. Indian sophistry and obfuscation can neither hide hard facts, nor succeed in misleading the world community,” it said. The statement said it was the “RSS-BJP regime’s dangerous policies of ‘Hindutva’ and ‘Akhand Bharat’” that continued to victimise the people in occupied Kashmir and minorities elsewhere in India and “create problems with nearly all of India’s neighbours”.
“Obviously, ‘normal’ relations with its neighbours remain contingent upon India beginning to act normally,” the statement said.