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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan made a strong demarche to India by summoning its charge d’affaires and conveyed strong condemnations of the highly derogatory remarks made by two senior officials of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) about the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, in a Twitter statement, stated that Indian Cd’A was summoned to convey Pakistan’s rejection and strong condemnation of the derogatory remarks by BJP officials against Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). “BJP leadership and GOI [Government of India] must condemn the sacrilegious comments and hold those responsible to account,” Bilawal added.

“We strongly condemn the completely repugnant and derogatory remarks by BJP officials about our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Totally unacceptable, hurting sentiments of billions of Muslims around the world. Time for international community to stop the ‘Hindutva’ inspired Islamophobia in India,” the Foreign Minister further stated.

Earlier in the day, Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said that the Indian charge d’affaires was told that these remarks are totally unacceptable and have not only deeply hurt the sentiments of the people of Pakistan but of Muslims across the world. He said that the Indian diplomat was further told that Pakistan deplores the belated and perfunctory disciplinary actions taken by the BJP government against the said officials, which cannot assuage the pain caused to the Muslims.

BJP spokeswoman Nupur Sharma’s comments denounced

“Pakistan is deeply concerned at the alarming rise in communal violence and hatred against the Muslims in India. Muslims are being systematically stigmatized, marginalized and subjected to a well-orchestrated onslaught from radical Hindu mobs with full connivance and support of the security apparatus across various states in India,” he added.

He stated that the growing mainstreaming of the reprehensible anti-Muslim sentiment and the increasing attempts at depriving the Muslims of their centuries-old places of worship citing frivolous historical claims, are nothing but the obvious outcomes of the deep-seated Islamophobia in the Indian society.

“Pakistan strongly urges the BJP leadership and the government of India to unequivocally condemn the sacrilegious comments of the BJP officials and ensure that they are held accountable through decisive and demonstrable action against them for attacking the dignity of the Holy Prophet (PBUH),” the spokesperson added.

The government of India was also reminded of its obligations under international law to take immediate steps to protect its minorities from human rights violations, ensure their safety, security and well-being and allow them to profess and practice their faiths in peace.

“Pakistan calls upon the international community, including the United Nations and OIC, especially their human rights machinery, to take cognizance of and stop the dangerously rising ‘Hindutva’ inspired Islamophobia in India, and prevail upon the Indian authorities to prevent the systematic human rights violations against minorities in the country,” the spokesperson added.

Other Muslim countries including the Gulf States, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman as well as Iran reacted strongly to the derogatory remarks made against Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) by BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma and another party leader Naveen Kumar Jindal.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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