Pakistan strongly condemns the recent spree of violence, targeted attacks against Muslims in India

Pakistan deeply condemns rapidly increasing trend in India of using religious processions of the Hindu community

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Islamabad. (VOM): Pakistan strongly condemns the campaign of violence and targeted attacks against Muslims by fanatic Hindu mobs in various Indian states.

The recent despicable attempt to hoist the saffron flag at Jahangirpuri’s Jamia Masjid in New Delhi where Muslims were waiting to break their fasts, derogatory sloganeering, playing of provocative music and the brandishing of weapons by the procession of Hanuman Shobha Yatra with impunity, reveal the gravity of the state-sanctioned hysteria and hatred in India against Muslims. This incident has re-kindled the horrific memories of Delhi pogrom of February 2020 which was aimed to discriminate, dispossess and dehumanize the Muslim community.

Earlier, the Ram Navami riots, which spread out across many Indian states have shone a spotlight on the precipitous slide of India into a ‘Hindu Rashtra’. Harrowing scenes of demolition of houses, businesses and shops belonging to Muslims and the vandalization of Mosques by local authorities in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat reveal the deep penetration of Hindutva ideology into the fabric of Indian state and society.

Pakistan notes with deep regret the rapidly increasing trend in India of using religious processions of the Hindu community to fan communal hatred and instigate anti-Muslim violence. Even more alarming is the fact that the local authorities that were evidently complicit in the fear-mongering have launched a concerted campaign against the Muslims on the pretext of crackdown against ‘alleged rioters.’

Pakistan calls upon the Government of India to transparently investigate the incidents of widespread violence and intimidation against Muslims and their places of worship and make demonstrable efforts to prevent such incidents from recurring in future.

We also call upon the international community, particularly the United Nations and relevant international human rights and humanitarian organizations to hold India accountable for its gross and widespread human rights violations against minorities, particularly Muslims.  Further adding to this, Pakistani and Indian political observers do not foresee any immediate easing of heightened hostilities between the two nuclear neighbours despite a recent regime change in Islamabad.

The already fraught relations between the two countries further plummeted in August 2019, when New Delhi stripped Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) of its longstanding semi-autonomous status.

The controversial move instantly prompted Islamabad to downgrade its diplomatic ties and halt trade with New Delhi.

Ever since the two neighbours have not missed an opportunity to denounce the other at international and regional forums.

A February 2021 treaty that brought an end to nearly daily clashes along the Line of Control (LoC) – a de facto border that divides the picturesque Jammu and Kashmir between the two neighbours, has been the “sole” positive development in terms of relations.

The centre-right Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), whose head, Shehbaz Sharif, was elected prime minister last week following a successful no-confidence motion against his predecessor Imran Khan, has long advocated good relations with Pakistan’s neighbours, including India.

Particularly, the former party president and three-time premier, Nawaz Sharif, had had a “soft corner” in India from former prime minister Inder Kumar Gujral to the incumbent leader Narendra Modi.

Nonetheless, Yashwant Sinha, a former Indian minister for external affairs, reckoned that Pakistan-India relations are not dependent on personalities.

“What has happened is that there might have been some little let-up in the heat which governs the relationship between the two countries. But the basic temperatures remain the same,” he said.

Sharing a similar view, Maria Sultan, an Islamabad-based defence and security analyst, observed that in given circumstances there are “very slim” chances for a thaw in tensions between the two sides, “no matter who is in power.”

“There will be no immediate resumption of talks until the Kashmir dispute is brought within the framework,” Sultan, who heads an Islamabad-based think tank South Asian Strategic Stability Institute, told.

“The India Pakistan situation (therefore) will remain linked to the resolution of the Kashmir dispute,” she said.

Sultan further said New Delhi’s August 2019 move regarding IIOJK played a “definitive” role in streamlining Pakistan’s position on talks with India that “no future talks are possible without reversal of 2019 act”.

Sinha who was the country’s foreign minister from 2002 to 2004, said he believed both sides have to give up “fixed ideas” to move forward.

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