ISLAMABAD: A senior diplomat of the Indian High Commission was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and conveyed Pakistan’s “categorical rejection of the mischievous spin given by India to an isolated incident” at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib.

In a statement on Thursday, the Foreign Office said: “It was conveyed to the Indian diplomat that the incident was swiftly addressed and clarified.”

The statement came in reference to a photo shoot of a model in her individual act at the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, for which she had later apologised for hurting the sentiments of the Sikh community.

The FO said the government of Pakistan accorded “highest primacy to the rights of the minorities”.

FO says Pakistan accords highest primacy to the minorities’ rights

“Sanctity of religious places and revered sites of every community is ensured in Pakistan,” it said.

The FO said the Indian diplomat was instead told to urge the government of India to investigate the incidents of gross and systematic persecution of minorities, which continue with impunity and state complicity.

“Given its systematic marginalisation and brutalisation of minorities, India has no locus standi to even feign concern for minorities elsewhere,” it said.

The FO said Indian authorities must focus on ensuring effective protection of their own minorities and places of worship from repeated instances of desecration, hate crimes and mob lynching.

Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2021

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