The Foreign Office on Friday rejected recent anti-Pakistan statements from India’s president and prime minister, branding them a desperate attempt by New Delhi to divert attention from international criticism of its actions in Jammu and Kashmir.
In a statement, spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said anti-Pakistan rhetoric by India President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi proved how desperate India was to distract domestic and international attention from ongoing protests against the anti-minority policies of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-inspired BJP government. Such statements are a familiar ploy by the BJP to shore up support during elections, she added.
“Allegations of mistreatment of minorities in Pakistan, based on sheer fabrications, are used by the Indian leadership as a propaganda tool,” she said. “[The] Indian government’s pretensions of casting itself as a homeland for minorities allegedly persecuted in Pakistan are preposterous. India simply does not have any credentials even to feign concerns for minorities, either at home or elsewhere,” she said.
Listing some of the anti-minority actions perpetrated by the RSS-BJP nexus, Farooqui said the “Hindu Rashtra” had been responsible for the desecration and demolition of the Babri Mosque, genocide of thousands of Muslims in Gujarat, and unending incidents of lynching and hate crimes against minorities, particularly Muslims, often with state complicity. The images of shootings at university campuses by people allegedly sponsored and protected by the RSS and BJP were sufficient to show India’s true face to the world, she added.
According to the spokesperson, the growing intolerance and extremist Hindutva ideology that had permeated the Indian state institutions threatened not only India’s minorities, but also endangered regional peace and stability.
In her statement, Farooqui urged the international community to take cognizance of unprecedented persecution of minorities in India, particularly Muslims, and the continuing inhuman lockdown and humanitarian crisis in India-held Kashmir. “We hope steps would be taken to hold India accountable for its illegal action and make it respect international obligations,” the spokesperson added.