ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Friday rejected Indian allegations of mistreatment of minorities in Pakistan and urged the international community to hold Delhi to account for violation of rights of its own minorities.
“Pakistan urges the international community to take cognizance of unprecedented persecution of minorities in India, particularly Muslims, and the continuing inhuman lockdown and humanitarian crisis in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” the FO said in a statement issued in response to latest remarks by Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the state of Pakistani minorities.
It rejected the remarks as “continuing irresponsible anti-Pakistan rhetoric” and said they were made to divert the attention from international criticism of its illegal and inhuman actions in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir and the growing protests against anti-minority policies of the RSS-inspired BJP government.
The Indian government, which is facing widespread protests at home over treatment of minorities there, has over the past few weeks criticised Pakistan on multiple occasions for allegedly not protecting its minorities.
Rejecting past allegations, the FO had then dismissed them as “mischievous” attempts at playing up isolated and fabricated incidents involving Pakistani minorities. It had also warned that such negative tactics would not mask the plight of Indian minorities, who were being subjugated by extremist Hindus.
The FO this time again recalled the growing intolerance and extremist Hindutva ideology and noted that this phenomenon that had permeated the Indian state institutions not only threatened Indian minorities but also endangered regional peace and stability.
Questioning India’s own track record on minority rights, the FO reminded the former of RSS-BJP campaign for “Hindu Rashtra”, the desecration and demolition of Babri mosque, genocide of thousands of Muslims in Gujarat and unending incidents of lynching and hate crimes against minorities.
Published in Dawn, February 8th, 2020