India’s expectation from Pakistanis never very high: Jaishankar on Pak FM’s personal attack against Modi

New Delhi: India’s level of expectation from Pakistanis is “never very high”, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Monday, in his first comments over the personal attack made by his Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

On Friday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) described Bhutto-Zardari’s remarks as “uncivilised” and said they were a “new low” even for Pakistan.

“I think my ministry has said very clearly what we think about what he (Pakistan foreign minister) said. We said what we had to say,” Jaishankar said during India Today’s India-Japan conclave.

When pressed further on whether he was upset over the remarks against the prime minister, Jaishankar said: “Our expectation levels with the Pakistanis are never very high.”

In a strong condemnation of Bhutto-Zardari’s remarks, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi on Friday said the Pakistan foreign minister’s “frustration” would be better directed towards the masterminds of terrorist enterprises in his own country” that has made terrorism a part of their “state policy”.

“Pakistan is a country that glorifies Osama bin Laden as a martyr, and shelters terrorists like Lakhvi, Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar, Sajid Mir and Dawood Ibrahim. No other country can boast of having 126 UN-designated terrorists and 27 UN-designated terrorist entities,” Bagchi said.

The Pakistan foreign minister resorted to a personal attack on PM Modi and slammed the RSS after External Affairs Minister Jaishankar told the UN Security Council that the “contemporary epicentre of terrorism” remains very much active and called for collective action to tackle them.

Though Jaishankar did not name any countries, it was apparent that he was making a veiled reference to Pakistan.

Later, he told reporters in New York that the world sees Pakistan as the epicentre of terrorism and recalled US leader Hillary Clinton’s blunt message to Islamabad in 2011 that snakes in one’s backyard will eventually bite those who keep them.

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