Minorities treated as inferior citizens in India: Mazari

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Human Rights, Dr Shireen Mazari has said that the extremist ideology of Hindutva has found new face and feet under BJP’s leadership, revealing the state’s true face while unraveling its claim of secularism in the process. She said that in India the lower caste Hindus and minorities like Sikhs, Muslims and Christians were being discriminated and treated as inferior citizens of state.

She expressed these views while addressing the international seminar ‘Hindutva Policies and the State of Minorities in India’ organized by Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), Islamabad on Tuesday. The seminar was also addressed by Pakistani Dallit leader Senator Engr. Gianchand, Dr Akis Kalaitzidis (USA), Dr Nitasha Kaul (UK), Murtaza Shibli (from Indian Occupied Kashmir), Dr Mujeeb Afzal, Ambassador (r) Jalil Abbas Jillani, Ambasador (r) Zamir Akram, Dr Waqar Masood and Dr Asma Khwaja.

Dr. Shireen Mazari was of the view that the plight of Muslims of Indian held Kashmir was particularly a major concern for Pakistan where the Kashmiri struggle of independence was being repressed by all means giving it a color of religious extremism issue, whereas in reality it was about the struggle for their right of self-determination.

She said, even as per the UN resolutions, Jammu & Kashmir was an occupied state and from the ongoing suppression to the attempts of changing the region’s demographics, everything that was being done in Kashmir should be seen as a war crime.

The Minister Human Rights was also critical of UN’s role over Kashmir’s issue, maintaining that while UN resolutions for East Timor were identical to the ones on Kashmir, the later was being neglected in execution merely for being a Muslim minority.

Executive President of IPS Khalid Rahman, in his opening note, presented the context of the seminar maintaining that the need of studying the rising phenomenon of Hindutva had increased manifold under the present Indian regime as the support and state machinery being provided to extremist forces by the government was a matter of concern for the whole region.

A book titled Hindutva: Rising Extremism in India, documenting the speeches and papers on the same topic presented by the speakers in a similar international seminar held last, was also launched and presented to Dr Mazari during the session.