FO lambasts Indian politicians for unhealthy rhetoric about Pakistan

The Foreign Office on Tuesday rejected “baseless” and “unhealthy” remarks by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his cabinet members regarding Pakistan’s nuclear programme, Kashmir and other regional issues during campaign for ongoing elections.

At an election rally in Bihar this week, Modi indirectly referred to National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah’s remarks about Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities and said he would make Pakistan “wear bangles.”

Noting the “alarming” surge in anti-Pakistan rhetoric, Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said in a statement: “Regrettably, these statements reflect an unhealthy and entrenched obsession with Pakistan and reveal a deliberate intent to exploit hyper-nationalism for electoral gains. These also signify a desperate attempt to deflect attention from mounting domestic and international criticism.”

The statement added that “the bravado and jingoism exhibited by Indian leaders expose a reckless and extremist mindset. This mindset calls into question India’s capacity to be a responsible steward of its strategic capability. On the other hand, the purpose of Pakistan’s strategic capability is to safeguard its sovereignty and defend its territorial integrity.”

About Indian Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s claim that Azad Kashmir was part of India, she said Jammu and Kashmir was an internationally-recognised disputed territory and the UN Security Council resolutions clearly mandated a plebiscite in the territory for its final determination.

“No amount of inflated Indian statements can change this reality,” Baloch said. “India should, therefore, focus on implementing these resolutions instead of indulging in fantasies of grandeur.”

The Himalayan territory of Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since their independence from Britain in 1947, with both countries ruling part of the territory but claiming it in full.

Ms Baloch urged Indian politicians to stop dragging Pakistan into their domestic politics for “electoral gains” and to handle sensitive strategic matters with “utmost caution.”

“We call upon the international community to take note of Indian leadership’s belligerent rhetoric, which poses a grave threat to regional peace and stability,” she said.

“The vision of peace, progress, and prosperity in South Asia can only be realized through the peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes, including Jammu and Kashmir, and a shift from confrontation to cooperation,” she concluded. 

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