Rajat Sharma

Why Pakistan is shedding crocodile tears about Indian Muslims

rajat-sir India on Monday lashed out at Pakistan for trying to defame it before the world community. The entire Pakistani civilian and military leadership, right from President Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, former PM Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and the Pakistani Army issued tweets and statements alleging that Muslims in India are being persecuted.

Most of the Pakistani leaders vied with one another in condemning Indian government for the remarks made about Prophet Mohammed by two spokespersons of India’s ruling party. BJP has already issued a strong statement and suspended its spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled another spokesperson Navin Kumar Jindal for making objectionable remarks about the Prophet. Nupur Sharma has, since, unconditionally withdrawn her remarks and offered apology for the same.

While the Gulf countries who had raised objections to the remarks made by the BJP spokesperson were satisfied with the response of the Indian government, Pakistan tried to queer the pitch by raising false allegations about persecution of Muslims in India. Pakistan President Dr Arif Alvi tweeted, “the derogatory and controversial remarks have hurt the feelings of all Muslims around the world. India under Modi’s hateful Hindutva philosophy is trampling religious freedoms of all its minorities and persecuting them without any impunity.”

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was not behind. He tweeted: “I condemn in strongest possible words hurtful comments of India’s BJP leader about our beloved Prophet (PBUH). Have said it repeatedly India under Modi is trampling religious freedoms and persecuting Muslims. World should take note & severely reprimand India. Our love for the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is supreme. All Muslims can sacrifice their life for the Love & Respect of their Holy Prophet.”

Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari tweeted: “We strongly condemn the completely repugnant and derogatory remarks by BJP officials about our beloved Prohpet 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.”

Pakistani Army was also not behind. The army spokesperson tweeted: “Pakistan Armed Forces strongly condemn blasphemous remarks by Indian officials. The outrageous act is deeply hurtful and clearly indicates extreme level of hate against Muslims and other religions in India.”

Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan tweeted: “This attack on our Holy Prophet PBUH is the most painful thing anyone can do to Muslims who feel an intense love and reverence for our Holy Prophet PBUH. OIC must take strong action against Modi’s India because sadly so far India has been allowed to get away with its Islamophobic policies.”

In response to these vicious tweets from Pakistani leaders, the spokesman of India’s Ministry of External Affairs gave a befitting reply. He said, “the world has been witness to the systemic persecution of minorities including Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Ahmadiyas by Pakistan. The government of India accords the highest respect to all religions. This is quite unlike Pakistan where fanatics are eulogized and monuments built in their honour…Pakistan must focus more on the safety and security of its minority communities instead of engaging in alarmist propaganda and attempting to foment communal disharmony in India.”

There is no gainsaying the fact that Pakistan got an easy handle because of Nupur Sharma’s remarks about the Prophet. Nupur should not have made such objectionable remarks against Prophet Mohammad. But is also a fact that the BJP took immediate action and Nupur had to withdraw her remarks and apologize. For the last two days, Pakistan has been trying to stoke anti-India sentiments in Muslim countries. Pakistan seldom gets such a chance, and this is the reason, why all its leaders from Shehbaz Sharif to Imran Khan came out with anti-India remarks.

Our foreign ministry spokesperson is right when he said that Pakistan should look at its own backyard. There are innumerable examples of Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Ahmadiyas being persecuted in Pakistan only because they are minorities. The world knows about Pakistan’s double standards. Pakistan has been turning a blind eye towards the persecution of Uyghur Muslims by Chinese authorities. Pakistan’s problem is that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has gained popularity in the Gulf countries, and India’s relations with West Asian countries have improved in recent years.

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