Modi's remarks in Dhaka 'vitiate the atmosphere': Sartaj Aziz on Indian PM's terrorism dig at Pakistan

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jun 10, 2015 14:58 IST

Pakistan on Wednesday said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks about Islamabad promoting terrorism had vitiated the atmosphere and contributed to “shrinking the constituency for peace”.

Sartaj Aziz, the Pakistan Prime Minister’s advisor on foreign affairs and national security, made the remarks in the Senate or upper house of parliament while reacting to Modi’s remarks in Bangladesh.

Pakistan, he said, will take up with the world community India’s “interference in former East Pakistan” and its “policy of destabilising Pakistan through terrorism”.

During his visit to Bangladesh, Modi launched a blunt attack on Pakistan on Sunday, accusing it of creating "nuisance" and constantly troubling India by promoting terrorism. He also pledged to work with Bangladesh to combat terrorism in the region.

"Pakistan aaye din (constantly) disturbs India, jo naako dum la deta hai (creates nuisance), terrorism ko badhawa (deta hai) ghatnaayein ghatthi rehti hain (promotes terrorism and such incidents keep recurring)," Modi said.

Making a statement in the Senate, Aziz said the Pakistan government had taken note of Modi’s remarks in Bangladesh that “acknowledged Indian government’s involvements in the events of 1971 in the then Eastern Province of Pakistan”.

“Such statements not only vitiate the atmosphere, put a question mark on India’s sincerity to establish good neighbourly relations with Pakistan, but also contribute towards shrinking the constituency for peace by negatively affecting the public perception,” he said.

“Mr Modi’s statement at Dhaka University in which he characterise (sic) bilateral relations as a ‘nuisance’ is most unfortunate…,” he added.

Aziz said the “open admission” of what he described as “India’s active involvement against Pakistan’s territorial integrity at the highest political level point to the past and present subversive role played by its intelligence agencies in destabilising Pakistan”.

He said Modi’s remarks should be seen in conjunction with Indian Defence minister Manohar Parrikar’s comments about “neutralising terrorism with terrorism”.

Aziz told the Senate that Pakistan will take steps on the diplomatic front to “expose India’s interference in former East Pakistan as well as its current policy of destabilising Pakistan through terrorism”.

Over the past few weeks, Islamabad’s civil and military leadership have accused India of fostering terrorism against Pakistan. However, they have not provided any evidence to back up their claims.

The charges have come against the backdrop of a freeze in bilateral ties. A recent visit to Islamabad by Indian foreign secretary S Jaishankar failed to end the logjam.

India has linked the resumption of peace talks to action against terrorism and the prosecution of the terrorists responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks. The Indian government was angered by a Pakistani court’s ruling granting bail to Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the mastermind of the Mumbai carnage.


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