Pakistan slams India for arrests of Islamic scholars in IIOJK: FO

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The entrance to the office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. — Radio Pakistan/File
The entrance to the office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. — Radio Pakistan/File
  • Indian forces made arrests under draconian Public Safety Act (PSA).
  • Pakistan has called on India to release all arrested religious scholars.
  • The detained scholars have been shifted to a prison in Hindu-majority Jammu.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Sunday condemned the arbitrary arrests and illegal detention of prominent Islamic scholars, including Maulana Abdul Rasheed Dawoodi, Maulana Mushtaq Ahmed Veeri, and five members of Jamaat-e-Islami, in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

"These deplorable actions only days ahead of the UN General Assembly session manifest India’s growing intransigence, and utter disregard of human rights and fundamental freedoms," the ministry stated.

The Foreign Office criticised India for the arrests, stating that the act has marked a new low in the blatant and continued onslaught on the human rights of the innocent Kashmiris by the Indian occupation forces.

"The illegal detention of the Kashmiri Islamic scholars while the true representatives of the Kashmiri people are already under Indian custody under fictitious cases and on fallacious grounds is yet another Indian attempt to rob the Kashmiri people of their distinct religious and cultural identity," the statement read.

The FO termed the detentions reprehensible, further stating that the arrests under the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA), which defies all international humanitarian laws and permits preventive detention for two long years without the need for any trial, is a deplorable preemptive step by the Indian authorities, planning to illegally occupy the religiously significant ‘Waqf Board’ properties.

The statement highlighted that the scholars have not only been unjustifiably arrested but shifted from Kashmir to a prison in the Hindu-majority Jammu under the Indian apprehensions of widespread protests and unrest in the face of such a malicious move.

"These politically motivated arrests are clearly meant to stifle the voice of the Muslims of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir and further marginalise them," the FO's statement read.

On Pakistan's behalf, the ministry has called on India for the immediate release of these religious scholars and all other Kashmiri prisoners illegally detained by India. It also urged the international community to take note of the dangerously growing trajectory of Islamophobia in India, instigated at the behest of the BJP-RSS nexus, that is aimed at suppressing the Muslims of India, denying them space to freely practice their faith and attacking their places of worship.