The world sees Pakistan as the "epicentre" of terrorism, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Thursday, asserting that the international community has not forgotten where the menace stems from, despite the brain fog induced by over two years of Covid-19.
He made the remarks while addressing reporters at the UN Security Council stakeout after charing a signature event held under India's presidency of the Council on 'Global Counterterrorism Approach: Challenges and Way Forward.
"In terms of what they are saying, the truth is everybody, the world today, sees them as the epicentre of terrorism," he said.
"I know we've been through two and a half years of Covid and a lot of us have brain fog as a result. But I assure you the world has not forgotten where terrorism emanates from, who has their fingerprints over a lot of activities in the region and beyond the region.
"So, I would say that it's something which they should remind themselves before indulging in the kind of fantasies which they do," he added.
Jaishankar was responding to a question on Pakistan Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar's recent allegation that "no country had used terrorism better than India".
He invoked US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who at a joint news conference in 2011 with then Pakistan Foreign Minister Khar, said: "You can't keep snakes in your backyard and expect them only to bite your neighbours." "I read the reports on what Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said. And I was reminded, more than a decade ago, my memory serves me right. Hillary Clinton was visiting Pakistan. And Hina Rabbani Khar was a minister at that time," Jaishankar said, while responding to a question on Khar's recent statements about a dossier against India.
"Standing next to her, Hillary Clinton actually said that if you have snakes in your backyard, you can't expect them to bite only your neighbours. Eventually, they will bite the people who keep them in the backyard. But as you know, Pakistan is not great on taking good advice. You see what's happening there," he said.
Pakistan should clean up its act and try to be a good neighbour, Mr Jaishankar said as he underlined that the world is not "stupid" and is increasingly calling out countries, organisations and people who indulge in terrorism.
"You know, you're asking the wrong Minister when you say how long will we do this? Because it is the Ministers of Pakistan who will tell you how long Pakistan intends to practice terrorism," Jaishankar said.
He was responding to a question by a Pakistani journalist on how long South Asia is going to see terrorism disseminating from New Delhi, Kabul, and Pakistan.
"At the end of the day, the world is not stupid, the world is not forgetful. And the world does increasingly call out countries and organisations and people who indulge in terrorism," he said.
"By taking that debate elsewhere, you are not going to hide it. You're not going to confuse anybody anymore. People have figured it out. So my advice is please clean up your act. Please try to be a good neighbour.
"Please try and contribute to what the rest of the world is trying to do today, which is economic growth, and progress and development," Jaishankar said.
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