Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar. - File

Pakistan strongly condemned on Wednesday the “highly provocative and sacrilegious” remarks made by India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmaker against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

In a statement, Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Asim Iftikhar demanded the Indian government “to take immediate and decisive action against the BJP members habitually involved in attacking Islam and targeting the dignity of beloved Prophet (PBUH).”

He also called upon the international community to take urgent cognizance of the aggravating situation of Islamophobia in India.

“The current incident once again highlights the present Indian regime’s obsessively spiteful demeanour towards Muslims and the worrying trajectory of Islamophobia in India,” the FO added.

The FO spokesperson stated this was the second time in the last three months that a senior BJP leader had made disrespectful comments against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

“These highly derogatory remarks have gravely hurt the feelings of the people of Pakistan and billions of Muslims around the world. The token and perfunctory disciplinary action taken by the BJP against the said official cannot assuage the pain and anguish caused to the Muslims of India and around the world,” the statement highlighted.

BJP leader T. Raja Singh, a lawmaker in the southern state of Telangana, was detained on suspicion of “promoting enmity in the name of religion” after Muslim groups demanded his arrest for his comments about Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

Singh was released on bail just hours after his arrest. The FO condemned his release and berated the Indian authorities for setting him free calling the act “highly reprehensible.”

“The fact is that India is nothing more than an undeclared ‘Hindu Rashtra’ where Muslims are routinely denigrated, dispossessed and marginalised and their religious beliefs are trampled under majoritarian hegemonism,” the spokesperson observed.

The BJP lawmaker had uploaded a video that contained blasphemous remarks about the Prophet (PBUH). His detention came months after the BJP suspended a spokesperson for her remarks on the Prophet (PBUH) that had led to a diplomatic backlash against India.

Hundreds of Muslims protested against Singh on Monday evening after the video appeared on social media, footage from media showed.

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