India must be held accountable for stifling rights of religious minorities, foreign secretary tells OIC envoys

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Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood speaks to OIC envoys in Islamabad. — MOFA
Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood speaks to OIC envoys in Islamabad. — MOFA  

  • OIC briefs OIC envoys on developments regarding highly derogatory remarks by BJP officials towards Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
  • Foreign secretary says OIC General Secretariat's condemnation echoed sentiment expressed by member countries.
  • Foreign secretary highlights OIC’s role in promoting rights and fundamental freedoms of Muslim Ummah around the world.


ISLAMABAD: Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood on Tuesday urged the envoys of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for holding India accountable for stifling the rights of its religious minorities, especially Muslims.

“India must be held accountable for stifling the rights of its religious minorities, especially the Muslim population, which is the victim of hate speech, persecution and violence perpetrated under state patronage,” said Secretary Mahmood in a meeting with the envoys. 

The envoys were called to the Foreign Office to brief them on the developments regarding the highly derogatory remarks by two senior officials of India’s ruling party Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), toward Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

The foreign secretary noted that the statement issued by the OIC General Secretariat on June 5 condemnation of the offensive remarks echoed the sentiment expressed by member countries. 

He highlighted the OIC’s role in promoting the rights and fundamental freedoms of the Muslim Ummah around the world.

“Strong reaction from the OIC countries to such totally unacceptable actions was natural, given the Muslims’ love and reverence for the Holy Prophet (PBUH),” said Mahmood. 

He also underlined the importance for the international community to take cognisance of the rising tide of Islamophobia in India.

Remarks by a spokeswoman for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who has since been suspended, have sparked a furore among Muslims.

Another official, the party’s media chief for Delhi, posted a tweet last week about the Prophet (PBUH) that was later deleted. 

Modi’s party, which has frequently been accused of acting against the country’s Muslim minority, on Sunday suspended Sharma for expressing "views contrary to the party's position" and said it "respects all religions".

Moreover, a day after condemning the highly derogatory remarks, Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Monday also issued a strong demarche to the Indian Charge d' Affaires in Islamabad.