India Responds to Bilawal Bhutto’s Statements: A Strong Rebuttal
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, recently stirred controversy by attributing India’s decision to host the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit virtually to his presence at the meeting. India swiftly reacted to Bhutto’s claims, deeming them biased and unfounded.
Speaking to the press on August 11th, Arindam Bagchi, the spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, emphasized that the decision to hold the SCO summit virtually was not influenced by any single factor or individual. Bagchi asserted, “It would be a fallacy to assume that a solitary element or person could dictate the format of the virtual SCO meeting.” He reiterated that the reasons behind the virtual summit had been discussed thoroughly, dismissing the notion that any single factor played a decisive role.
During the ministerial meeting, where foreign ministers convened, Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar openly criticized Pakistan. He labeled Pakistan as a breeding ground for terrorism, with Bilawal Bhutto being seen as an enabler of such activities. Jaishankar highlighted the absurdity of expecting victims of terrorism to engage in discussions with those responsible for promoting terrorism.
Shifting the focus to the ICC World Cup, Bagchi was asked about security concerns regarding Pakistan’s cricket team visiting India. Bagchi responded by emphasizing the sporting nature of the event, stating, “This is a significant match, not a battle.” He assured that Pakistan’s cricket team would be treated like any other participating country, stressing that security inquiries should be directed to the relevant authorities.
Regarding the escalating violence in Niger, the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson addressed the situation. The Indian government has issued advisories for its citizens in Niger, urging them to evacuate promptly. Approximately 250 Indians are currently residing in Niger, according to the Ministry’s spokesperson. The government encourages all Indians in Niger to register themselves and assures that efforts are being made to ensure their safety and facilitate their departure through diplomatic channels.