Updated: December 28, 2021 11:41:01 am
IN AN unusual intervention days after a ‘Dharam Sansad’ held in Haridwar saw a series of hate speeches targeting Muslims and calling for violence and assassination, Pakistan’s foreign ministry Monday summoned the most senior Indian diplomat at the High Commission in Islamabad and asked him to convey their “serious concerns”.
In an official statement, the Pakistan ministry said: “Today, the Indian Charge d’ Affaires was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad and asked to convey the Government of Pakistan’s serious concerns to the Government of India over the widely reported open calls by Hindutva proponents for carrying out genocide of Indian Muslims.”
India’s charge d’affaires M Suresh Kumar was summoned by the Pakistani officials on Monday afternoon.
While critical statements by foreign ministries are common, summoning of Indian diplomats about incidents related to minorities in India is rare. In fact, it is usually India that has in the past issued several critical statements on atrocities against Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan, and summoned Pakistan’s diplomats — most recently in August to protest the attack on a Hindu temple in Rahim Yar Khan region of rural Punjab in Pakistan.
At the Haridwar event, which was held from December 17 to 19, the controversial Yati Narsinghanand, the priest of Dasna temple in Ghaziabad who is facing several FIRs in UP, called for a “war against Muslims” and urged “Hindus to take up weapons” to ensure a “Muslim didn’t become the Prime Minister in 2029.”
Former Delhi BJP spokesperson Ashwini Upadhyay was among those who had attended the event.
Following nationwide outrage, three persons were booked in connection with the hate speeches. Swami Dharamdas and Sadhvi Annapurna, along with Waseem Rizvi, who had assumed the name of Jitendra Narayan Singh Tyagi after converting to Hinduism, were named in the FIR lodged last Thursday.
The FIR has been lodged under Section 153A of the IPC (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language).
The Pakistan Foreign ministry said it was “impressed upon” the Indian Government that it was “highly reprehensible” that those who called for ethnic cleansing at the event have “neither expressed any regret nor the Indian government has condemned or taken any action against them so far”.
The statement also said it was conveyed to the Indian side that the reported hate speeches have been viewed with “grave concern by civil society and cross-section of the people of Pakistan and around the world”.
Claiming that a “toxic narrative against minorities, particularly Muslims…has become a norm”, Pakistan said it expects India to investigate these hate speeches and take measures to stop such incidents from recurring in future.
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