Pakistan has reacted angrily to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "vilification campaign" against Islamabad over the recent Uri attack, saying India's attempts to isolate Islamabad diplomatically in global forums were unfortunate.
Addressing radio listeners on Sunday (25 September) in his routine programme – known as "Mann ki Baat" or "From the heart" – Modi spoke about the attack in Kashmir. Four suspected Pakistan-based militants infiltrated an Indian army base in Uri on 18 September killing 18 Indian soldiers before being killed by the security forces.
Speaking earlier on Saturday (24 September), Modi directly addressed the Pakistani public instead of the leaders of the country. He said: "People of Pakistan should question their leadership on why, when both countries gained freedom together, while India exports software, Pakistan exports terrorists."
He asserted: "India has and never will bow down in the face of terrorism."
Responding to Modi's remarks, Pakistani foreign office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said: "It is unfortunate that the Indian leadership continues to indulge in a well-thought-out vilification campaign against Pakistan by making provocative statements and baseless accusations."
The spokesperson claimed India's allegations were meant to cover up the situation in Indian-administered Kashmir. Zakaria insisted that Indian forces were "using brute force against innocent and defenceless Kashmiris, including children and women. These atrocities have intensified since the extra-judicial killing of Kashmiri youth leader Burhan Wani in July this year".
The two nuclear-armed archrivals are engaged in a bitter war of words for the past few weeks after the situation in Kashmir deteriorated in July. It worsened during the Uri attack, for which India blames Pakistan.