ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Sunday expressed grave concern over the confirmation of BJP leaders’ direct involvement in anti-Muslim violence during the horrific Gujarat riots of 2002 that led to the killing of over 2,000 Muslims.

Pakistan urged India to immediately constitute an independent commission of inquiry to bring the culprits of the horrific Godhra incident, as well as the Gujarat riots, to justice.

The recent statement by former Gujarat chief minister Shankersinh Vaghela has confirmed Pakistan’s long-standing assertion that the BJP-led government under the incumbent prime minister, who was the chief minister of Gujarat at the time of anti-Muslim riots in Godhra, was directly responsible for fomenting violence and massacre of Muslims, the Foreign Office spokesperson said in a press release.

This has been further corroborated indirectly by the Indian home minister, who recently claimed that those responsible for the Gujarat riots had been taught a lesson and permanent peace had been established in Gujarat by BJP’s decisive actions.

Calls upon international community to take note of aggravating situation of Islamophobia in India

Pakistan also called upon the international community, particularly human rights activists and defenders, to take serious note of the aggravating situation of Islamophobia in India, and asked the Indian government to ensure that the rights of minorities, especially Muslims, were safeguarded and their lives protected.

The FO spokesperson said it is deplorable that the crimes against humanity, targeting Muslims, were perpetrated solely for BJP’s political gains. Regrettably, the BJP once again seeks to cash in on its divisive policies two decades after the Gujarat tragedy, he added.

Under the BJP rule, India’s treatment of its minorities, especially Indian Muslims, had been discriminatory, degrading, and full of hate and violence.

In June this year, the Supreme Court of India handed a clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the then CM of Gujarat, for his role in the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2022

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