ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Monday accused the Indian ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of distorting history and threatening Pakistan for gaining political advantage and said it was reckless.

“Pakistan strongly condemns the unwarranted, gratuitous and provocative comments made by the Indian defence minister at an event in New Delhi on December 12, 2021, questioning established historical facts, levelling unfounded allegations in the context of terrorism, and hurling threats against Pakistan,” Foreign Office spokesman Asim Iftikhar said in a statement.

He was responding to remarks by Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on the occasion of a 1971 war commemoration.

Singh had said that the 1971 war “tells us that the partition of India on the basis of religion was a historic mistake. Pakistan was born in the name of one religion but it could not remain one. After the defeat of 1971, our neighbouring country is constantly waging a proxy war in India”.

Indian minister had hurled terrorism accusation on Islamabad

The Indian defence minister further accused Pakistan of indulging in “terrorism and other anti-India activities” in an attempt to break India. Indian forces, he claimed, “foiled its plans in 1971 and now work is going on to eliminate roots of terrorism by our brave forces. We have won in the direct war, and will achieve victory in the proxy war as well”.

The FO spokesman, in his response, said it was “the BJP’s special forte to misrepresent history, resort to revisionism and delusional thinking, and indulge in false bravado”.

He said the timing of Singh’s latest statement showed that it was made in view of upcoming state elections in Uttar Pradesh and other states.

“The timing of the Indian defence minister’s provocative rhetoric is, therefore, not surprising, as the BJP-RSS combine is desperate to win elections in Uttar Pradesh and other states, typically inciting hyper nationalism and seeking to advance the extremist Hindutva agenda,” he said.

“The Indian defence minister’s chest-thumping and war-mongering are nothing but further evidence of India’s irresponsible behavior and its relentless belligerence towards Pakistan,” he added.

Rejecting Indian allegation of terrorism, Mr Iftikhar said the world was aware of the fact that the Hindutva-inspired regime in India was carrying out sate-terrorism against Kashmiris in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

He said that Pakistan had last year presented “a comprehensive dossier” with “irrefutable evidence” of the Indian government’s planning, aiding, abetting, financing and executing terrorist activities in Pakistan.

Pakistan, the FO spokesman said, was fully capable of thwarting India’s aggressive designs.

“We have demonstrated our resolve and capability in this regard, including in the recent past,” he said in reference to the 2019 military standoff between the two neighbouring arch rivals.

“The BJP leaders will be well-advised to desist from any ill-conceived misadventure and also stop dragging Pakistan in India’s domestic politics for electoral gains,” he underscored.

Published in Dawn, December 14th, 2021

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