By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2022-12-17 06:26:34
India has rightly and strongly slammed Pakistan's foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto for calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi "the butcher of Gujarat". Calling it a new low even for Pakistan, India said that Pakistan, with its institutionalized support for terrorism and terror outfits, was least qualified to make such "uncivilized" personal attacks and should change its mindset.
Bhutto, while reacting to Indian foreign minister's comment that Pakistan was "the epicentre of terrorism", said that "Osama Bin Laden is dead, but the butcher of Gujarat lives and he is Prime Minister of India". Apart from the personal attack on Modi being distasteful and undiplomatic, even in drawing the analogy with Bin Laden, Bhutto scored a self-goal. One of the world's most wanted terrorist, Bin Laden was given shelter in Pakistan which proved that it was the last haven for terrorists wanted for their crimes in other countries. That apart, Pakistan is home to 126 UN-designated terrorists and 27 UN-designated terrorist entities as India's official note pointed out.
Although the Gujarat riots happened when Modi was chief minister of the state, the Supreme Court of India has cleared him of any involvement in what went on then. Obviously the buck stopped at the chief minister's desk and it was a huge administrative failure of his government but to call him "the butcher of Gujarat" after he was found not guilty of involvement by the highest court in the country, especially by the foreign minister of another nation, is undiplomatic, to say the least.
As India has rightly pointed out, Pakistan needs to change its mindset. It has been sheltering, financing and training terrorists and providing them logistic support to enter India to carry out a proxy war. It is doing all it can to destabilize the country and sow seeds of mistrust between communities. Although its stated wish of inflicting 1000 cuts on India (reportedly made by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Bilawal's maternal grandfather, after Pakistan lost the 1971 war and Bangladesh became independent) will never materialize, Pakistan thinks it can deflect the world's attention from its support for terrorism by making such vile comments. It must first set its own house in order before casting aspersions on others.