EAM Jaishankar On Pakistan FM Bilawal Bhutto At SCO Summit
Pakistan is actively involved in terrorism in its region, including the presence of UN-designated global terrorists such as Masood Azhar, Hafiz Saeed & others.
Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar has referred to his Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari as the “promoter, justifier and spokesperson of a terrorism industry”.
Jaishankar made the comments at a meeting of foreign ministers from member nations of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Goa, where the two foreign ministers did not hold a bilateral meeting.
Jaishankar said that victims of terrorism cannot sit with its perpetrators to discuss terrorism, and that Pakistan’s credibility on the issue is depleting faster than its foreign exchange reserves.
He also made a clear swipe at Pakistan’s financial crisis, saying that it has forced the country to knock on doors for loans.
The comments were made on the same day that five Indian Army soldiers were killed in action while trying to find terrorists hiding in a forest near Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir.
The terrorists, suspected to be Pakistanis, had ambushed an army truck last week, killing five other soldiers.
India has previously provided proof of Pakistan’s active involvement in supporting terrorism on its soil, including the presence of UN-designated global terrorists such as Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed.
Zardari, the son of assassinated Pakistani former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, is the first Pakistani foreign minister to visit India in nearly 12 years.
In 2011, then Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar had visited India. The last minister-level visit from Pakistan was in 2016 by Sartaj Aziz.
At the SCO meeting, Jaishankar called for united efforts to fight terrorism, saying that taking our eyes off this menace would be detrimental to our security interests.
He also called on the SCO to ensure that nobody, individual or state, can hide behind non-state actors.