Flanked by her deputies, Ministers of State MJ Akbar and General (Retd) VK Singh, Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday gave a hard-hitting response to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for his comments earlier this week that he is waiting for the day Kashmir becomes a part of Pakistan.
In no uncertain terms, Swaraj made it clear that Sharif's dream is destined to remain unfulfilled. She was speaking in New Delhi having ensured the successful return of Indian NGO worker Judith D'Souza, who was kidnapped in Afghanistan by the Taliban.
Taking umbrage at Sharif's statement that "Kashmir will one day become Pakistan", she said in a statement that this
"delusional though dangerous dream" was the reason for Pakistan's "unabashed embrace and encouragement to terrorism". "The whole of Jammu and Kashmir belongs to India. You will never be able to make this heaven on earth a terror hell," she said.
"Nawaz Sharif says that his good wishes are with the people of Kashmir," Swaraj said. "Sadly, it's not Pakistan's good wishes or moral or diplomatic support but its weapons and terrorism that it has exported to Jammu and Kashmir," she said.
India's reaction came amidst provocative statements
issued on near-daily basis by Pakistan government and Sharif.
"Sharif has also tried to paint Burhan Wani as a martyr. Does he not know Wani was the commander of terrorist organisation Hizbul Mujahideen? Does he not know Wani carried a reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head? That Wani was responsible for the murder of so many security and armed forces personnel?" she asked.
Speaking of Pakistan's less-than-impressive record on batting terrorists, Swaraj took further potshots at Islamabad.
"A country which has used weapons on its own citizens has no right to speak about our brave and disciplined police and military. Even in the most arduous of conditions at the most difficult of times, our security agencies have shown respect for their countrymen. Over 1,700 personnel were wounded in the unrest that has shaken up Jammu and Kashmir in the last few days," the minister said.
"Even more condemnable than these deplorable attempts from across our border to incite violence and glorify terrorists is the fact that these attempts have been undertaken by Pakistan's State machinery in active partnership with UN-designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed and other leading terrorists belonging to internationally proscribed organisations," she said.
On Thursday, while addressing a public gathering on the occasion of his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz's win in the 'Azad Jammu and Kashmir' assembly election at Muzaffarabad, Sharif had urged his countrymen "not to forget those in (Indian)-held Kashmir who are sacrificing their lives for freedom".
Pakistan has taken a stridently anti-India line since mass protests erupted in the Kashmir Valley after the 8 July killing by Indian security forces of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.
Street clashes between those protesting Wani's killing and the security forces have left over 45 people dead and hundreds injured. Many have been blinded by pellets used by the security forces.