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Wednesday, July 17, 2024  
11 Muharram 1446  

India’s terrorist objectives are going to harm them also: Hina Rabbani Khar

Perpetrators of terrorism are projecting themselves to be the greatest victims of terrorism, says state minister

India should realise that its use of terrorist proxies to achieve terrorist objectives in Pakistan would also harm it, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar said on Wednesday.

“There is clear evidence that the Lahore terrorist attack was being planned and supported by India,” she said while addressing a press conference in Islamabad centered on the recent terror activities in Pakistan. She was accompanied by Foreign Office spokesperson Zahra Baloch.

The state minister was speaking about the apparent involvement of the Indian spy agency RAW in terrorist activities in Pakistan over the last three years.

Perpetrators of terrorism projecting themselves as victims

“I wish I was here to be talking to you how Saarc is prospering, how regional connectivity is happening […] The reason why we are drawing your attention is we are at a unique place where perpetrators of terrorism are today projecting themselves to be the greatest victims of terrorism.

“Where perpetrators of terrorism are drum-beating as Security Council presidents to talk about terrorism from imaginary sources. And we are also at a unique place because no one is willing to call the bluff, to call out the clear, simple, glaring hypocrisy.”

She said that when there was “undeniable, indisputable” evidence, it was important for everyone to “call a spade a spade”.

“This particular effort is to bring attention to the attention of the world and to expect them and encourage them to see things based on evidence as they are.”

Pakistan hands over dossier to India

She spoke about Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah’s Tuesday press conference on the 2021 Lahore blast in Johar Town. She said earlier in the day, the foreign secretary called the diplomatic corp and shared the “dossier” with them.

She added that the dossier has detailed evidence of how India has been “found to be fully behind this particular incident [2021 Johar Town blast]” which led to the loss of lives. “And we do not, unlike our neighbours, go the next day and blame one country or the other. We waited till we had strong hard evidence to be making the case we are making today.”

Khar said that the scourge of terrorism has bogged this region down and Pakistan was the one country that has been on the receiving end of such menace. “Yet the other country which is the source of terrorism in Pakistan continues to play the drum of being the victim of terrorism.”

There was clear evidence of the Lahore terrorist attack being “planned and supported” by India, the state minister claimed.

“It reflects India’s persistent hostility towards my country and the use of terrorist proxies to achieve terrorist objectives. And, we believe objectives which are going to harm them also because when you try and burn neighbour’s house the fire will come and burn you too.”

Khar went on to say that some of the perpetrators of the attack had been brought to justice, but also said that the “masterminds and the facilitators” remained at large and “under Indian state patronage and protection”.

She added that some of the perpetrators of the attack had been brought to justice, however, the “masterminds and the facilitators” remained at large and “under Indian state patronage and protection”.

“I can assure you that the Government of Pakistan will pursue this relentlessly at every level.”

The state minister claimed that India has already earned infamy for its terrorist designs and actions. “It’s actions in IIOJK, the infamous massacre in Indian Gujrat which made some countries close their doors on many well-known Indian leaders and which still ensures that many other Indian leaders still continue to glorify this incident. They want to identify with that incident rather than away from the incident. This shows the psyche which is currently going on. And I tell you it’s a dangerous one.”

She also spoke about the Samjhota train incident, alleging that India’s terrorist proxies continue to use neighbour’s territories and blatant support to militant organisations.

No country has used terrorism better than India

The state minister highlighted that India’s objective was to undermine Pakistan’s peace and security through terrorism, saying “no country had used terrorism better than India”.

Khar used a term “chronic terrorism syndrome” for India.

“To play on the back of the attention of the world on terrorism and to play the victim, no country has benefitted from it better than India.” She went on to say that India was portraying itself as a champion of counter-terrorism even though it had not made no contributions in this regard and paid only lip service.

“If you compare Pakistan and India, you will find Pakistan to always be at the forefront of counter-terrorism, of ensuring that we are a player in the world to try and make sure terrorism does not continue to haunt us.”

She highlighted that India continued to operate as a “rogue state”. “A country that tries to deny the existence of Security Council resolutions […] shows what type of a mindset this country has.”

She went on to add that India had been paralysing the UNSC sanctions regime by blocking listing of Indian terrorists actively aided and financed by the Indian state. She shared the names of four Indian nationals the listing of whose names was blocked, namely Govinda Patnaik, Parthas Arti, Rajesh Kumar and Dumgara.

“I don’t think I need to remind anyone that India has had a role in destabilising its neighbouring countries and weaken their economies to try and pursue its hegemonic designs in the region,” she said, adding that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and Balochistan were two examples of this.

The minister also reminded India that there could not be “islands of excellence in a sea of depravity”. “So when you try and harm your region, you actually end up harming yourself.”

The minister said India was “frustrated” after Pakistan was delisted from the Financial Action Taskforce’s (FATF) so-called grey list. “They have completely mastered the art of using international organisations for their political gains […] India remains the recruiter, the financier and the facilitator of various terrorist outfits and foreign terrorist fighters within the region.”

She said: “The world may be ignoring this what I would consider to be a festering pool of terrorism but at its own peril.” India was beating the drum on the issue while chairing UNSC meetings on terrorism, but had now been caught “red-handed” orchestrating terrorist attacks in Pakistan, she said and called on India to desist from pursuing this policy and to look at the region as it was.

“India’s unabated slip into the abyss of terrorism is being clouded by this growing India, emerging India narrative.”

She said that the international community, particularly the UN and FATF, had the responsibility now to hold India accountable for its terrorist actions.

“We are looking for accountability. The Lahore incident, for us, is a test case for the credibility and integrity of international counter-terrorism and counter financing of terrorist regimes. The world must show that efforts to counter-terrorism are non-discriminating. The international conscience cannot be held hostage to what are clearly political and economic exigencies of the time.”

She said that Pakistan had shared the dossier with members of the UNSC and would also share it with the UN secretary general. “We hope that they would look into this evidence and fulfill their responsibilities. Pakistan for its part will remain fully committed to eradicate terrorism in all its form and manifestations.”

To a query, she said that the country was hopeful that its efforts to uncover Indian-sponsored terrorist activities would force the international community to pay attention to it and take action.

“Over the past three years, at least 211 individuals of law enforcement agencies have been attacked through RAW [Indian spy agency] sponsored attacks. There have been 1,213 attacks in Pakistan over the last three years and we have evidence that they were RAW sponsored.”

She shared the trail of Indian spy agency terrorist attacks.

“My question is how much is too much and is this too much and how we would allow the country to use a terrorism drum on a platform like UNSC? So I think this is clearly a serious matter,” she said in her detailed reply to the world’s reaction to it.

She rebuffed rumours that she was not offered a meeting with one of Afghanistan’s officials during the trip to the country. Khar added that she was well received.

“We are able to achieve exactly what we really wanted to achieve. Our job is to do deep, useful diplomacy away from theatrics. Our way is to preserve Pakistan’s interest and we do what we can to project Pakistan’s interest.”

Khar explained that red warrants have been issued for suspects and a request has been made for mutual legal assistance has been made. “This is a case where there is undeniable evidence of not only state sponsorship but propelling […] continue to enjoy state patronage. This is the strongest evidence that there could be.”

She added that Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari highlighted at the G77 summit in New York.

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hina rabbani khar