FO: RSS-BJP regime’s record is replete with systemic minority right violations

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has categorically rejected the “unwarranted assertions” by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs in connection with the Hindu temple incident in Karak.

In a statement, Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said this is not the first time the Indian government has tried to feign concern for minority rights elsewhere while being the most “egregious and persistent violator of minority rights itself”.

Last week, an angry mob attacked and set ablaze the shrine of a Hindu saint in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Karak. Video clips going viral on social media show hordes of people breaking and desecrating the site while chanting slogans. Smoke could also be seen emitting from the shrine after it was set on fire.

Chaudhri said the RSS-BJP regime’s record is replete with instances of gross and systemic violations of the rights of minorities, in particular Muslims.

The spokesperson said as a perennial purveyor of the state-sponsored discrimination against its minorities, India is in no position to pontificate on the issue of minority rights elsewhere.

The FO’s statement identified several violations of minority rights by India. They are listed as written in the statement below:

  • Discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens
  • Gujarat massacre of 2002
  • Delhi pogrom of 2020;
  • Reprehensible demolition of Babri Mosque in 1992
  • Despicable acquittal of all the accused by Indian court in 2020
  • Blaming Muslims for spreading coronavirus
  • Banning inter-faith marriages
  • Cow vigilantism and mob lynchings
  • Terming the Muslims of West Bengal ‘termites’ and threatening to ‘throw them into the Bay of Bengal’
  • Extra-judicial killings of innocent Kashmiris and blatant attempts to turn Muslims into a minority in Indian-held Kashmir through distribution of ‘fake domicile certificate’

The FO statement comes after India conveyed “serious concerns” to the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi at “repeated instances of similar nature against members of the minority community”, The Wire had reported.

The FO spokesperson said the clear difference between India and Pakistan in respect of minority rights can be gauged from the fact that the accused in the Karak incident were immediately arrested and orders were issued for repair of the temple.

He said the “highest level of judiciary took immediate notice and senior political leadership condemned the incident”. In India, he compared, the blatant acts of discrimination against Muslims and other minorities take place with state complicity.

Given these incontrovertible facts, the spokesperson said the Indian government would be well advised to set its own house in order rather than feigning concern for minority rights elsewhere.