ISLAMABAD: Upset over Pakistan being jointly told by the United States and India to take action against terror groups, Foreign Office on Wednesday asked Delhi’s allies not to fall for Indian propaganda on security issues in the region and said India was the “nerve centre of state terrorism” in the neighbourhood.
“It is important that partner countries take an objective view of the issues of peace and security in South Asia and refrain from endorsing positions that are one-sided and divorced from ground realities,” FO said in a rejoinder to the US-India statement.
US and India had in their joint statement issued after the third episode of annual 2+2 ministerial dialogue asked Pakistan to take “concerted action” for countering terrorism.
The US-India statement had said: “The ministers called on Pakistan to take immediate, sustained and irreversible action to ensure that no territory under its control is used for terrorist attacks.”
The joint statement had further said that the US and Indian foreign and defense ministers “denounced the use of terrorist proxies and strongly condemned cross-border terrorism in all its forms.”
US and India, as part of their growing strategic cooperation, have deepened convergences on security issues through bilateral Counter-Terrorism Joint Working Group and Designations Dialogue.
FO said it had rejected the Pakistan-specific reference in the US-India ‘Joint Statement’ for being “unwarranted and misleading”.
The rejoinder said that joint statement was “selective and one-sided” and the assertions about Pakistan contained in it did not meet the “objectivity criteria.”
FO obliquely accused US of abdicating its “international responsibility” by failing to take cognizance of the grave humanitarian and human rights situation in India-held Kashmir that had been aggravated by annexation of the occupied territory by India in August 2019.
“Gratuitous and self-serving references in joint statements cannot mask the fact that it is India that continues to be the nerve centre of State-terrorism in the region including Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir, besides being a safe haven for the perpetrators of hate crimes against Muslims and Islamophobia,” it said.
India, FO said, was trying to divert world’s attention from human rights abuses in Occupied Kashmir by the occupation troops, by presenting itself as a ‘victim’ of terrorism. However, FO said, India cannot deceive the world by such tactics.
Published in Dawn, October 29th, 2020