People start talking nonsense when either they are out of mind or frightened. Days after claiming that terrorists like Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed was once a darling of the US, Pakistan Foreign Minister Khwaja Asif did a u-turn on Monday. While addressing Asia Society forum on the sidelines of 72nd UN General Assembly session on Tuesday last, Asif had said Islamabad will not take the blame for terrorist outfits like the Haqqani Network.
“Don’t blame us for Haqqanis or don’t blame us for the Hafiz Saeeds. These were the people who were your darlings just 20 to 30 years back. They were being dined and wined in the White House and now you say go to hell Pakistanis because you are nurturing these people,” Asif was quoted as saying.
However, Asif’s remark was contested by the internationally designated terrorist himself. On September 20, PTI reported that Saeed slapped a Rs 100-million defamation notice on Asif for calling him the “darling of the United States.” Saeed’s counsel A K Dogar sent the notice to the foreign minister on behalf of his client who heads the Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD), a front for the LeT militant group that carried out the deadly 2008 Mumbai attack.
Following Saeed’s defamation notice, Asif, however, spoke in a different tone after returning to Pakistan. In an interview to Pakistan’s Geo TV on Monday, Asif did what Islamabad does usually – that is, put the blame of terrorism on India.
This time, Asif, however, even targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling him a “terrorist” when asked about Sushma Swaraj’s remarks against Pakistan at the UN. Asif said that Swaraj had accused Pakistan of exporting terror, but “it is a terrorist who is Prime Minister of her country”.
Asif is now on a tree-day visit to the US, where he will have high-profile meeting with top US officials.