In a fresh war of words, bickering neighbors India and Pakistan have accused each other of using terrorism as an instrument of state policy to target one another
In a fresh war of words, bickering neighbors India and Pakistan have accused each other of using terrorism as an instrument of state policy to target one another. The trigger for the latest round of verbal exchanges was Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh’s veiled allegations on Sunday that Pakistan, after losing two wars to India, had started resorting to proxy war and that terrorism had become an integral part of its state policy.
Addressing the faculty and students of Defense Service Staff College Wellington in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, Rajnath Singh said, "After losing two wars, one of our neighboring countries (Pakistan) has started resorting to proxy war, and terrorism has become an integral part of its state policy. It has started targeting India by providing arms, funds, and training to terrorists."
Though Rajnath Singh did not name Pakistan, the reiteration of the oft-repeated allegations left none in doubt about the intended target at a time the hardline Taliban’s ascendancy in Afghanistan and its close ties with Islamabad have raised concerns in Indian diplomatic circles of renewed bids at fomenting trouble in the volatile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Defense Minister also alleged that the “neighboring country” has started targeting India by providing arms, funds and training to terrorists, according to NDTV.
He also referred to India’s cross-border strikes in Pakistan in retaliation of terror incidents on its soil – which New Delhi has blamed on Islamabad - and claimed the ceasefire between the two countries was successful because of “our strength”.
"If a ceasefire (between India and Pakistan) is successful today, it is because of our strength. In 2016, cross-border strikes changed our reactionary mindset into a proactive mindset, which was further strengthened by the Balakot airstrike in 2019," he further stated.
Hours after Rajnath Singh’s verbal volleys, Pakistan hit back.
Categorically rejecting the minister’s allegation, the Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson said in a statement that Islamabad had shared what it called “incontrovertible evidence” with the international community “of India’s state sponsorship of terrorism and subversion against Pakistan”.
“India uses terrorism as an instrument of state policy. This year alone, India has been involved in terrorist attacks in Johar Town, Lahore and against Chinese and Pakistani workers at Dasu,” he said.
Three people were killed and 24 injured in a June 23 blast near the residence of proscribed Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed in Lahore’s Johar Town.
On July 14, nine Chinese nationals were among 13 people killed in a bomb blast on a bus near the Dasu Hydropower Project in the remote Kohistan district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
Training its guns on India’s ruling BJP and its ideological mentor the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the spokesperson alleged that the duo had a “clear anti-Muslim and anti-minority agenda” and targeted Pakistan with “false propaganda campaigns” for both ideological reasons and political expediency.
On Rajnath Singh’s reference to the 2016 surgical strikes and Balakot airstrike in 2019, the spokesperson dubbed them ‘ill-conceived misadventure” that was ”based on nothing but lies and deceit”.
He claimed that Pakistan “restored the strategic balance in the region by retaliating against India in a measured and firm manner.
“Our desire for peace notwithstanding, Pakistan will resolutely defend itself against any aggressive Indian designs,” he said.
India and Pakistan have fought two wars and another undeclared one on Kashmir, with the two countries now governing separate parts of the region.