Sunday Nov 27, 2022
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Sunday expressed grave concerns over the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership's direct involvement in anti-Muslim violence during the horrific Gujarat riots of 2002 that led to the killing of over 2,000 Muslims.
In a statement issued by Foreign Office, Pakistan urged India to immediately constitute an independent commission of inquiry to bring the culprits of the horrific Godhra incident to justice.
The recent statement given by the former chief minister of Gujarat Shankersinh Vaghela confirmed Pakistan’s long-standing assertion that the BJP-led government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi — who was the chief minister of Gujarat at the time of anti-Muslim riots in Godhra — was directly responsible for fomenting violence and massacre of Muslims.
The statement further said that this has been corroborated indirectly by the Indian home minister, who recently claimed that those responsible for the Gujarat riots had been “taught a lesson” and “permanent peace” had been established in Gujarat by BJP’s decisive actions.
"It is most deplorable that the crimes against humanity, targeting Muslims, were perpetrated solely for BJP’s political gains. Regrettably, the BJP once again seeks to cash in on its divisive policies two decades after the Gujarat tragedy," said the statement by Foreign Office.
As per the statement, India’s treatment of its minorities, especially Indian Muslims, has been discriminatory, degrading, and full of hate and violence under BJP rule.
"In June this year, the Supreme Court of India handed a clean chit to the current prime minister, the then CM of Gujarat, for his role in the 2002 Gujarat riots. The Supreme Court shut down as many as 11 petitions, including one filed by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India, seeking an independent probe into the 2002 Gujarat riots cases," it read.
The FO went on to say that it is an undeniable fact that India’s incumbent premier had been banned from entering countries such as the United States till 2014, because of his abysmal human rights record as Chief Minister of the Gujarat state.
The foreign ministry said that the entire Indian legal and administrative machinery is blindly pursuing the Hindutva-driven agenda of the ruling BJP-RSS nexus where perpetrators of hate and violence are protected by law and enjoy the exalted status, whereas religious minorities are constantly threatened and denied the freedom to practice their faith without fear, while their lives, property and places of worship remain under threat of violation.
"Pakistan calls upon the international community, particularly human rights activists and defenders to take serious note of the aggravating situation of Islamophobia in India; and calls on Indian government to ensure that the rights of minorities in India, especially Muslims, are safeguarded and their lives protected," the statement concluded.