In a breach of diplomatic propriety, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif has branded Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a “terrorist” and said India was being run by “a terrorist party”, evoking a sharp reaction from the Bharatiya Janata Party that dismissed the Pakistani minister as a “political pygmy”.
Asif made the remarks in an appearance on Geo TV’s Capital Talk show, in response to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s UN General Assembly speech last month, in which she had accused Pakistan of “producing and exporting terrorism”.
“Pakistan Foreign Minister is a political pygmy in a powerless government kowtowing to the terror organisations. These pusillanimous comments reflect Pakistan’s frustration with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s successful diplomacy in exposing the terror face of Pakistan to the world,” said BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao.
“Pakistan is getting desperate is evident from these patently foolish and irresponsible comments,” Rao said.
Asif made the remarks while talking about Kashmiris who have been killed in Jammu and Kashmir and civilian casualties in cross-border firing along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary, the Dawn reported.
“A terrorist is their (India’s) prime minister at this time. One whose hands are stained with the blood of the Muslims of Gujarat,” the report quoted him as saying.
“A terrorist party is ruling them (India) -- the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh is ruling them. The Bharatiya Janata Party is like its subsidiary organisation,” he said.
“But Narendra Modi is an elected ‘terrorist’,” Hamid Mir, the show’s host, reminded Asif.
“The nation that elects a terrorist... what kind of nation is that?” the minister retorted.
Explaining his stance, Asif said, “Look at the language the Indian prime minister is using, the way Muslims are being killed over cow-related issues. And just recently, on Dussehra, they burnt the effigies of Rohingya Muslims four times,” he claimed.
“In Dussehra, they burn the effigies of villains... They declared Rohingya Muslims terrorists,” he stressed, adding that although India was quick to call others terrorists, “the biggest terrorist (is Modi). Muslims were raped and murdered under his supervision when he was chief minister (of Gujarat). The US had banned him,” he said.