Bilawal asks Indians to protest against hatred, not him

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 As the ruling BJP organised demonstrations in various parts of India to protest Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s remarks about the Indian prime minister, the Pakistani foreign minister urged the Narendra Modi-led party to protest against unrelenting discrimination and hatred that Indian Muslims face in their own country, instead of protesting against him.

At a news conference inside the UN earlier this week, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had described Mr Modi as “the butcher of Gujarat,” adding that instead of being punished for the 2002 massacre of over 2,000 Muslims in Gujarat, he was made the prime minister.

He was responding to his Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar’s remarks who, for two days in a row, had called Pakistan “the host of Osama bin Laden” and the “perpetrator of terrorism.”

“My comments were based in history, and it is difficult to distort history,” said Bilawal when asked about the BJP’s protests against him. “You cannot rewrite history to suit your likes and dislikes.”

Talking to the Pakistani media in New York, he said: “The history is a witness to the role the current Indian prime minister played in Gujarat. No matter how hard the BJP or RSS protests, they cannot distort history.”

The foreign minister said he did not coin the term “Butcher of Gujarat, Indian citizens gave this title to him (Modi). So, no matter how much you protest, you cannot change facts.”

“They must also condemn the Muslim genocide in Gujarat, and condemn the way Muslims in India, who are the largest minority in the world, are treated. I wish… they had also protested for their own Muslim citizens — who are now the victims of discrimination, hatred — instead of targeting me.”

He said instead of trying to curb this hatred, “their own government instigates people against Indian Muslims”.

The FM said if the purpose of these protests was to scare Pakistan, it would not work. “We are not afraid of RSS. We are not afraid of Mr Modi. We are not afraid of the BJP. If they want to protest, they should.”

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Disclaimer: Bilawal asks Indians to protest against hatred, not him - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect point-of-view

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