FO rejects Indian remarks on statue incident

Delhi told to get rid of its anti-minority mindset instead of feigning concern for minorities elsewhere


Our Correspondent August 18, 2021
Foreign Office Spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri. PHOTO: APP/FILE

ISLAMABAD:

Pakistan on Wednesday rejected the Indian External Affairs Ministry’s unwarranted and gratuitous remarks on an incident involving statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Lahore, asking New Delhi to move away from its entrenched anti-minority mindset, instead of feigning concern for minorities elsewhere.

“We categorically reject the Indian Ministry of External Affairs’ unwarranted and gratuitous remarks on an incident involving the statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. It is highly hypocritical of a country that is purveyor of state-sponsored discrimination against its minorities to pontificate on the issue of minority rights elsewhere,” the Foreign Office said in a statement.

The statement came in response to criticism by the Indian government over vandalising of the statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Lahore, the other day. The Foreign Office said that “a mature state would have appreciated the immediate arrest of the accused against whom strict legal action” had already been initiated.

Read More: Mob vandalises Hindu temple after boy granted bail

“The government, legislature, judiciary, civil society and the media in Pakistan have always worked for ensuring constitutional protections for members of minorities as equal citizens and their places of worship, whereas in India incidents against minorities take place with state complicity,” the statement said.

Rather than feigning concern for minorities elsewhere, the statement continued, India should seriously introspect, move away from entrenched anti-minority mindset being destructively spawned by the RSS-BJP regime, and discard state-sponsored discriminatory policies.

“India must ensure safety, protection and well-being of the minorities, including Muslims, and take effective steps for the protection of their places of worship, culture and heritage sites,” the Foreign Office statement concluded.

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