The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on Wednesday summoned Indian Charge d’ Affaires Suresh Kumar to convey the government of Pakistan’s grave concern and condemnation of the “deeply reprehensible act of banning Muslim girl students from wearing hijab (headscarves) in the Indian state of Karnataka.”
According to a statement issued by the MoFA, the Charge d’ Affaires was urged to convey Pakistan’s “extreme concern” to the government of India over the anti-hijab campaign being spearheaded by the RSS-BJP combine in Karnataka, which is part of its larger exclusionist and majoritarian agenda aimed at dehumanising and demonising Muslim women.
The Indian diplomat was told that religious intolerance, negative stereotyping, stigmatisation, and discrimination against Muslims continue unabated even after almost two years of the horrific Delhi riots which claimed the lives of 50 innocent Muslims in February 2020.
The Pakistan government is also alarmed at the deafening silence of the BJP leadership and the absence of discernable action against Hindutva proponents openly calling for the genocide of Muslims at the recently held Dharam Sansad in Haridwar, Uttarakhand.
It was also stressed that the Indian government must fulfil its responsibility to take action against the perpetrators of harassment against women in Karnataka and take adequate measures to ensure the safety, security, and well-being of Muslim women.
He was further urged to impress upon the Indian government to take immediate action against perpetrators and abettors of anti-Muslim violence in the Indian states of Assam, Tripura, Gurugram, and Uttarakhand and bring justice to the victims of the Delhi Riots.
Pakistan also called upon the international community, including the United Nations (UN) and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), especially their human rights machinery, to take cognisance of the worrying level of Islamophobia in India and prevail upon Indian authorities to prevent systematic human rights violations against minorities in the country.