Qureshi criticises Indian govt for restricting religious freedom of Kashmiri Muslims

Updated August 31, 2019

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Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi addressing a gathering hosted by the Hindu community in Thar on Saturday. — DawnNewsTV
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi addressing a gathering hosted by the Hindu community in Thar on Saturday. — DawnNewsTV

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday strongly criticised the Indian government for usurping the basic rights, including religious freedom, of the people in occupied Kashmir.

The minister was addressing a convention attended by hundreds of people in Sindh's Thar district. The gathering was hosted by the Hindu community to express solidarity with the Kashmiri people.

Also read: No talks with India before curfew in occupied Kashmir is lifted, says FM Qureshi

Qureshi said that the event was a clear message to the world that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has restricted religious freedoms by locking mosques up in occupied Kashmir, while temples are functioning freely in Pakistan.

FM Qureshi addressing a gathering on Aug 31, hosted by the Hindu community to express solidarity with the Kashmiri people. — Hainf Samoon
FM Qureshi addressing a gathering on Aug 31, hosted by the Hindu community to express solidarity with the Kashmiri people. — Hainf Samoon

He added that the Indian government sealed doors of mosques in occupied Kashmir even on the day of Eid. The curfew has now entered its 27th consecutive day, he said, adding that the BJP government was only staging a drama by opening schools in the valley.

He pointed out that the Indian government had also prevented elected opposition leaders from entering Srinagar.

"Today's India is negating the philosophies of Nehru and Gandhi. The ideology of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has overshadowed India," he said.

The minister said that he was visiting the Shiv temple with a message of humanity.

"I am visiting the area as per the philosophy of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. We will ensure that the lives, property and honour of the Hindu community are secure," added the foreign minister.

He said that the international community has discussed the issue of Kashmir despite the opposition of India and declared occupied Kashmir a disputed territory.

The solution to the issue of occupied Kashmir lies within the resolution of the United Nations, said the foreign minister.

He said that the European Union will also take up the matter on September 2 despite Indian attempts to create hindrances.

"Those who bow their heads are not in power today. India should know that we have the courage to respond to a brick with a stone," said Qureshi.

"Kashmiris are unarmed but not weak," he added.

The foreign minster also expressed concern over the deteriorating situation in the region saying "RSS thugs are being sent there".

PTI leader Ramash Kumar Vankvani said that the Hindu community observed the day of Karshan Bhagwan in solidarity with Kashmiri people.

"The message of Shiv Mahadev is to stand by the victim. The people in occupied Kashmir have been subjected to oppression," he said.

PTI leaders Dr Arbab ghulam Rahim, Haleem Adil Shaikh and others also addressed the gathering.