India, Pakistan trade barbs over terrorism

New Delhi, Dec 16 (EFE).- India and Pakistan have made cross-accusations on the promotion of terrorism in recent days, with New Delhi on Friday describing the comments of Islamabad as “uncivilized,” in what is a new episode of tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.

The series of cross-accusations between Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, began Thursday during the framework of UN meetings against terrorism in New York.

During a press conference following a meeting in which Pakistan tried to include the disputed Kashmir region among the topics of the day, Jaishankar described the neighboring country – without naming it directly – as the “epicenter of terrorism.”

“The world has not forgotten where does terrorism (emanate), who has their fingerprints over a lot of activities in the region and beyond the region,” said Jaishankar.

Bhutto’s response came the same day and was more direct, as he described Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the “Butcher of Gujarat,” referring to the wave of violence against the Muslim community in 2002 when he was the state’s chief minister.

“The Butcher of Gujarat lives and he is the prime minister of India. He was banned from entering this country (US) until he became prime minister,” said Bhutto.

In a fresh response by India, this time in New Delhi, the Ministry of External Affairs denounced Friday Bhutto’s comments on Modi as “uncivilized” and “a new low” for Pakistan.

“Pakistan’s indisputable role in sponsoring, harbouring, and actively financing terrorist and terrorist organisations remains under the scanner,” the Ministry’s spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a statement.

Relations between India and Pakistan have been strained since the partition of the subcontinent in 1947 and its independence from the British Empire, mainly because of their dispute over the Kashmir region, over which they have fought two wars and had several minor conflicts.

In March 2019, the two nuclear powers had their worst military escalation in decades, when New Delhi claimed to have bombed a camp of the terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed on Pakistani territory.

In February 2019, this group had claimed responsibility for an attack in Indian Kashmir that left 42 security forces members dead, marking the worst such incident in the region in three decades. EFE


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