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Pakistan’s FM Says There’s A Bounty On His Head For His Remark On Indian PM Modi
Wednesday - Dec 21, 2022
Pakistan’s FM Says There’s A Bounty On His Head For His Remark On Indian PM Modi
Islamabad: Pakistan’s foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari defended his “butcher of Gujarat” remark against Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, claiming that there was a bounty placed on his head because he stated “a historical reality”. He had made the comments last week during a press conference on the side-lines of the United Nations Security Council in New York, while responding to his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar’s comments calling Pakistan “the host of Osama bin Laden” and the “perpetrator of terrorism”.
 
In an interview with Bloomberg, Mr Bhutto-Zardari defended the comments saying he was “referring to a historical reality. The remarks I used were not my own. I did not call […] I did not invent the term ‘butcher of Gujarat’ for Mr Modi. The Muslims in India following the Gujarat riots used that term for Mr Modi,” he said. “I believe I was referring to a historical fact, and they believe that repeating history is a personal insult.”
 
The foreign minister informed the outlet that since the comments, there has been a bounty placed on him. “It’s been two days since my remark — a member of Mr Modi’s party has announced a 20-million-rupee bounty on my head. So, I don’t think the best way to disprove the fact that Mr Modi is the ‘butcher of Gujarat’ is to adopt such extreme steps.”
 
“Osama bin Laden is dead, but the butcher of Gujarat lives and he is the prime minister of India,” Mr Bhutto-Zardari had said last week while referring to the riots in the state in 2002 when India’s Hindu nationalist leader Mr Modi was its chief minister.
 
In a statement on Friday, India’s foreign ministry slammed Mr Bhutto-Zardari’s remarks, calling them” uncivilised. These comments are a new low, even for Pakistan,” it said. “Pakistan FM’s uncivilised outburst seems to be a result of Pakistan’s increasing inability to use terrorists and their proxies,” India’s foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a statement.
 
Protests against Mr Bhutto-Zardari’s remarks were held by workers of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP] in various parts of India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, and Karnataka on Saturday. “We will not tolerate any statement against our prime minister. PM Narendra Modi is the one who is striving hard to save our Hindu religion, and Pakistan is unable to see it. That is why they are making such statements,” BJP Maharashtra party chief Chandrashekhar Bawankule told news agency PTI.
 
Pakistani minister Shazia Marri defended the country’s foreign minister, threatening that India “should not forget that Pakistan has an atom bomb. Our nuclear status is not meant to remain silent. We will not back down if the need arises,” Ms Marri said. But later on, 17 December, she tweeted that “Pakistan is a responsible nuclear state,” adding that the country “has sacrificed far more than India in the fight against terrorism”.

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