India on Thursday slammed Pakistan for objecting to the Indo-US joint statement this week that laid bare Islamabad’s support for terror, reminding the Imran Khan government that Pakistan was home to the largest number of UN designated terrorists in the world and it should not “even attempt to play the victim”.
New Delhi’s sharp comeback came after Islamabad called out the Indo-US joint statement issued this week after the 2+2 strategic dialogue that had referred to Pakistan. In this, the two countries had asked Pakistan to take “irreversible action to ensure its territory is not used for terror attacks and to speedily prosecute the perpetrators and planners of the attacks in Mumbai, Uri and Pathankot”.
The statement, issued after talks between external affairs minister S Jaishankar and defence minister Rajnath Singh and their US counterparts Mike Pompeo and Mark Esper, also called for “concerted action” against terrorist networks such as al-Qaeda, Islamic State and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
Pakistan had responded angrily, calling the comments unwanted and misleading. Islamabad had also described itself as a country that had “suffered the most from cross-border terrorism”.
Less than 24 hours later, New Delhi delivered its sharp rebuttal. “The whole world knows the truth about Pakistan’s role in supporting terrorism. No amount of denial can hide the truth of Pakistan’s support for terrorism,” the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson said on Thursday, according to a PTI report.
Islamabad also asked the international community to “recognise Pakistan’s efforts, sacrifices and success in the fight against terrorism.”
“Even their leaders have time and again spoken about their role with regard to terrorism,” the MEA spokesperson said.