Pakistan’s visceral hatred for India came out in the open on Thursday when Bhutto-Zardari family scion Bilawal Zardari launched a personal attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York after External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar called Pakistan an epicenter of global terrorism.
Son of assassinated former Pakistan PM Benazir Bhutto and grandson of hanged former Pak PM Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, both of whom promised to wage a 1000-year jihad against India over Kashmir, Bilawal Bhutto in cockney accent called PM Modi names and accused India for targeting global terrorist Hafiz Saeed in 2021 blast and spreading terror in the Islamic Republic.
While Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was hanged during Army dictatorship of Gen Mohammed Zia ul-Haq, Bilawal’s mother was gunned down during the regime of another Army dictator Gen Pervez Musharraf with needle of suspicion on Pakistani ISI though the case has been buried in files in Rawalpindi GHQ.
The Pakistan Foreign Minister Zardari clearly was trying to be one up on EAM Jaishankar’s speech at the UNSC where he pin-pointed Pakistan for its role in spreading terror across the globe. The Bhutto-Zardari’s slanderous remarks at the press conference were more aimed at the domestic audience back in Pakistan and ever-growing Pak diaspora in the west.
Zardari’s personal tirade against PM Modi appears to be deliberate as Pakistan stands ignored by India with not a single bilateral word exchanged since Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammed attacked the Pathankot air base in January 2016. Used to be feted around by Left-liberal Indian media once upon a time, Pakistan today is frustrated as no one in the world came to their support except iron brother China when the Modi government abrogated article 370 and 35 A in Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019.
Cross border terror by Pakistani deep state no longer fetches returns as there is instant retaliation from Modi’s India and even the Pak hinterland is not safe as demonstrated in the Feb 26, 2019, Indian Air Force strike at JeM terror training camp in Balakot in KP province of Pakistan.
Although Pakistan Army clearly does not want to open a front with India, it is the civilian leadership of the Republic which is spewing venom on PM Modi with an eye on Islamic radical vote in the forthcoming general elections in Pakistan. The problem has also got multiplied for Islamabad as Taliban regime in Afghanistan has opened the western border as the Sunni Pashtuns refuse to accept Durand Line as international border.
The Taliban regime have gone a step ahead and refuse to act as proxy for Pakistan against India while supporting extremist Tehreek-e-Taliban, Pakistan in its fight against Rawalpindi. Fact is that the Taliban blame Pakistan for tipping off the US intelligence on the whereabouts of now assassinated Al Qaida chief Ayman Al Zawahiri in Kabul. Zawahiri’s predecessor Osama bin Laden was sheltered by Pakistan till the US forces neutralized him in Abbotabad near Pak Army training academy.
While EAM in his UNSC speech recommended that Pakistan should disavow terrorism for improving bilateral relations, Zardari and his junior remarks in the past two days clearly show that Pakistan is living in denial on terror factories within and will continue to use jihad as a weapon against India. After all this is Bilawal Zardari’s legacy.