In a controversial statement, Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari launched a vicious personal attack on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Here is all that you need to know.
What did Bilawal Bhutto Zardari say? In response to comments made by India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Zardari said, Osama bin Laden is dead, but the butcher of Gujarat lives. And he is the prime minister of India."
Zardari was referring to Modi's alleged role in the 2002 Gujarat riots when he was chief minister at the time. The prime minister, however, had been given a clean chit by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted to investigate the riots.
"He was banned from entering this country (United States) until he became the prime minister. This is the prime minister of the RSS and the Foreign Minister of the RSS. What is the RSS? The RSS takes inspiration from Hitler's SS."
The SS he is referring to is the Schutzstaffel, which was a major paramilitary organisation under Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany.
What had Jaishankar said? Before Zardari's remarks, Jaishankar had hit out at Pakistan, accusing it of hosting the now dead al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and overseeing an attack on India's Parliament (the 2001 attack).
"While we search for the best solutions, what our discourse must never accept is the normalisation of such threats. The question of justifying what the world regards as unacceptable should not even arise. That certainly applies to state sponsorship of cross-border terrorism. Nor can hosting Osama bin Laden and attacking a neighbouring Parliament serve as credentials to sermonise before this Council," the minister asserted.
"We are obviously focused today on the urgency of reforming multilateralism. We will naturally have our particular views, but there is a growing convergence at least that this cannot be delayed any further," he had added.
He even invoked former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who at a joint news conference in 2011 with the then Pakistan Foreign Minister Khar, had said: "You can't keep snakes in your backyard and expect them only to bite your neighbours."
Where was this issue raised? Bhutto had raised the Kashmir issue in the UN SC Open Debate on ‘Maintenance of International Peace and Security: New Orientation for Reformed Multilateralism’, a signature event held under India’s Presidency of the 15-nation Council and was one of the 60 speakers listed for the debate, according to PTI.
What else has been recently stated in the matter? In October, Pakistani Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations Munir Akram had raised the issue of Kashmir, saying that the exercise of the right to self-determination should be conducted in Kashmir in an environment free of military occupation and under the supervision of the United Nations.
How had India responded? India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj had responded to this demand by calling it an unsurprising "attempt by one delegation to misuse this forum and make frivolous and pointless remarks against my country. Such statements deserve our collective contempt and sympathy for a mindset which repeatedly utters falsehoods."
“It is important, however, to set the record straight. The entire territory of Jammu and Kashmir is and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India irrespective of what the representative of Pakistan believes or covets. We call on Pakistan to stop cross-border terrorism so that our citizens can enjoy their right to life and liberty,” Kamboj had added.