ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office said that Pakistan strongly condemned the heavy-handed treatment by the Indian authorities of Muslim who were registering a peaceful protest over the derogatory remarks.
“The indiscriminate and widespread use of brute force by the Indian authorities across various states in India has resulted in killing of two innocent Muslim protesters and critically injured thirteen others in Ranchi city.
“The footage of Indian forces unabashedly opening fire on unarmed protesters in Ranchi city is horrific beyond belief. In Uttar Pradesh alone a total of 227 people have been arrested so far,” read an FO press release issued on Saturday night.
The FO said this is a new low in the Indian government’s repressive Hindutva-inspired majoritarian policy aimed at demonising and persecuting minorities, especially Muslims.
Pakistan denounces this shameful treatment of Indian Muslim citizens by the Modi government and expresses its solidarity with the Muslims of India in these testing times.
It is alarming that despite the global condemnation of the blasphemous remarks, the Indian government’s reaction has been muted, while on the other hand the BJP-RSS regime has persisted in its Islamophobic actions and has shamefully chosen to handle public protest with brutal and indiscriminate use of force, the Forign Office said. The Indian government’s apathy to the grievous situation and the vicious cycle of communal violence may lead to further marginalisation of the Indian Muslims.
“Pakistan once again strongly urges India to ensure that demonstrable action is taken against those responsible for making derogatory remarks and attacking the dignity of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH),” read the FO statement.
It urged the international community to take immediate cognisance of the grievously aggravating situation of Islamophobia in India. India must be held accountable for stifling the rights of the minorities, especially Muslims, and ensure that Muslims living in India are not victimised for practicing their faith and religious beliefs.
Authorities in India’s Uttar Pradesh state have demolished the homes of several people accused of involvement in riots last week triggered by derogatory remarks made by ruling party figures about the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him), officials said on Sunday.
The offensive remarks have drawn condemnation from the Muslim world. Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari discussed the issue with the secretary general of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Hissein Brahim Taha,
In India-held Kashmir, police arrested a youth for posting a video threatening to behead the ruling party’s former spokeswoman who had made some of the remarks, officials said. The video, circulated on YouTube, has been withdrawn by authorities.
Muslims have taken to the streets across India in recent weeks to protest against the comments by two members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Clashes have broken out between Muslims and Hindus and in some cases between protesters and police in several areas. Police in Uttar Pradesh arrested more than 300 people in connection with the unrest.
Some in India’s minority Muslim community see the comments as the latest instance of pressure and humiliation under the BJP rule on issues ranging from freedom of worship to the wearing of hijab.
The BJP has suspended its spokeswoman Nupur Sharma and expelled another leader, Naveen Kumar Jindal, for the comments, which have also caused a diplomatic row with several Muslim countries.
Police have filed cases against the two and the government has said the comments do not reflect its views.