Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speeches at the all-party meet on Friday and then at the Red Fort on the occasion of India's Independence Day on Monday, has riled up neighbour Pakistan.
“Pakistan forgets that it bombs its own citizens using fighter planes. The time has come when Pakistan will have to answer to the world for the atrocities committed by it against people in Balochistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir,” Modi said at the all-party meet.
Modi hit out at Pakistan for supporting terrorism on Monday. This, he said, was in contrast to the way Indians reacted with sorrow when terrorists slaughtered school children in Peshawar. "But on the other hand, look at those who glorify terrorists. What kind of people glorify terrorists? The world is watching. People of Balochistan, Gilgit and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir have thanked me a lot in the past few days. I am grateful to them," he said during his Independence Day speech.
Pakistan's oldest English daily Dawn criticised Modi's speech calling his language "aggressive", and his comments about Pakistan, a breach of "diplomatic norms". It added that the Indian PM's remarks will most likely be interpreted by Pakistan as a threat. The country's beef with India as to why the latter (or rather, Modi) shouldn't be raising the issue of Balochistan is because the issue is "senseless" and that Pakistan could easily come up with a retaliatory accusation: that North East India is unstable and plagued by violence.
Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri also had similar strong reactions to Modi's comments. “The government and people of Balochistan vehemently reject Modi’s statement on the situation in the province,” The Express Tribune quoted CM Zehri as saying. He also dismissed Modi's comparison of Balochistan to Kashmir saying that, "people of Balochistan are loyal and patriotic", and that they wouldn't offer support the "nefarious designs of the country’s enemies".
The Dawn further wrote that Modi was in denial of the original India-Pakistan dispute and that he should take a good hard look at the "dismal path he has ventured down".
Meanwhile, The Nation, in an editorial on Monday, concentrated on the violence in "Indian-administered Kashmir" writing that Pakistan will extend its "diplomatic, political and moral support to the valiant people of Jammu and Kashmir till they get their right to self-determination". On 22 July, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at a public gathering announced that the country was waiting for the day when "Kashmir becomes (a part of) Pakistan".
Echoing the view of The Nation, the country's high commissioner to Delhi, Abdul Basit, dedicated Pakistan's Independence Day to Kashmir. "Struggle for independence will continue till Kashmir gets freedom. Sacrifice of the people of Kashmir will not go in vain," he said during his trip to Delhi.
India-Pakistan ties have plunged further since the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani. Sharif declared Wani a "martyr" and even observed 19 July as black day to mourn the continuing violence in Kashmir.
Union Minister Rajnath Singh too condemned Pakistan and its involvement in the Kashmir violence while addressing the Rajya Sabha. He said that the situation in Kashmir is sponsored by Pakistan while asserting that no power in the world can take Kashmir from India.
With inputs from PTI