Modi using `diversionary tactics`: Pakistan
By Baqir Sajjad Syed
ISLAMABAD: Tension between Pakistan and India, already running high over a rising death toll in held Kashmir, went up a notch when authorities in the two countries engaged in another wordy duel on Monday.
Hours af ter Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech in New Delhi claimed that his people were getting terrorism from an `ungrateful neighbour`, ForeignAffairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz sharply hit back at his allegations about human rights abuses in Pakistan, saying the Indian leader was indulging in `diversionary tactics`.
`Mr Modi is only trying to divert world attention from the grim tragedy that has been unfolding in the Indian Occupied Kashmir over the past five weeks,` Mr Aziz said in a statement, responding to Mr Modi`s tirade against Pakistan over the past few days.
Mr Modi had first at a multiparty meeting on situation in Kashmir and then at the Red Fort on the occasion of India`s Independence Day accused Pakistan of sponsoring terrorism and of human rights violations in Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.
Pakistan`srejoindercameasthelead-ership formally invited India for a dialogue on the Kashmir dispute.
`India should recognise that the core issue of Kashmir cannot be resolved by bullets. It requires a political solution, through serious negotiations between India and Pakistan,` Mr Aziz noted.
Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry earlier in the day handed over a letter to Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale, proposing talks on Kashmir.
The bilateral ties worsened last month following the eruption of protests in the Occupied Valley over the killing of militant Burhan Wani. Some 70 people have since been killed in the Valley because of the excesses by Indian security agencies.
`There is constant curfew and com-plete media blackout for the past 37 days. These events have nothing to do with terrorism. It is an indigenous movement for self-determination, a right promised to the Kashmiris by the UN Security Council,` Mr Aziz said.
In his traditional address from the ramparts of Red Fort, PM Modi blew hot and cold at Pakistan, reminding the audience that children in India could not stop crying for days after the Peshawar school massacre, but what his people were getting in return was terrorism from an `ungrateful neighbour`.
Mr Modi did not name Pakistan but left no doubt when he also referred to alleged rights abuses and `disgruntled citizens` in Balochistan, Azad Kashmir which he called Pak OccupiedKashmir and Gilgit.
According to the NDTV, Mr Modi`s speech made it clear that `he has completely rerouted his policy on Pakistan with aggressive comments, referring to Pakistan`s human rights abuses in its large province of Balochistan as well as Pakistan Occupied Kashmir`.
Sartaj Aziz rejecting Mr Modi`s allegations said: `At this time, the contrast between the Indian Occupied Kashmir and...Azad Jammu and Kashmir could not be starker.
In Mr Modi`s reference to Balochistan Mr Aziz saw a proof of India`s interference in the restive province.
He rejected Indian PM`s Balochistan analogy noting that the province was an integral part of Pakistan.
`Pakistan`s contention that India, through its main intelligence agency RAW, has been fomenting terrorism in Balochistan... was also confirmed by the public confession of RAW`s active service Naval Of ficer, Kulbhushan Jadhav, in March this year,` he recalled.
Mr Aziz reminded India that its `dream for greatness` cannot be achieved by suppressing the Kashmiris and blinding them.
`India ...does not automatically become a great country, especially when it unleashes such brute force against innocent citizens to suppress their right to protest or when it deliberately uses pellet guns to permanently destroy the eyesight of over 100 youths,` he said.
In remarks likely to upset many in Islamabad, Mr Modi claimed before his audience that people of those areas [Balochistan, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit] had thanked him for drawing attention to their troubles. He was probably referring to his warning last week that if Pakistan `continues instigating` the violence that has seared the Kashmir Valley for over a month, India will be compelled to expose `Islamabad`s many wrongdoings` in regions fighting alleged terror and atrocities by its security forces.
The comments about Pakistan were placed at the end of his lengthy speech.
`They glorify terrorists who attack us,` he said, recalling that India `cried with sorrow` when at least 130 children were killed in massacre by terrorists in Peshawar`s APS two years ago.
Our Correspondent in New Delhi contributed to the report