Pakistan foreign ministry summons Indian diplomat over Dharma Sansad speeches

Published on Dec 27, 2021 11:45 PM IST

Police in Haridwar registered a case on Thursday after videos of the three-day Dharma Sansad held during December 17-19 caused a furore since several seers participating in the event had called for violence against minorities.

Screengrab from videos of 3-day Dharma Sansad which are now viral on social media.
Screengrab from videos of 3-day Dharma Sansad which are now viral on social media.
ByHT Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Pakistan on Monday summoned the senior-most Indian diplomat in Islamabad to convey its concerns over calls for violence against minorities by Hindu seers at a three-day event held in Haridwar.

The charge d’affaires of the Indian high commission was summoned to the foreign ministry in Islamabad and asked to convey the Pakistan government’s serious concerns “over the widely reported open calls by Hindutva proponents for carrying out genocide of Indian Muslims”, an official statement said.

Police in Haridwar registered a case on Thursday after videos of the three-day Dharma Sansad held during December 17-19 caused a furore since several seers participating in the event had called for violence against minorities.

There was no response from the Indian side to the summoning of the diplomat by Pakistan’s Foreign Office.

The Pakistani side impressed upon the Indian government that it was “highly reprehensible” that the seers who made the calls for violence had “neither expressed any regret nor the Indian government has condemned or taken any action against them so far”, the statement said.

The reported hate speeches were viewed with grave concern by civil society and a cross-section of people in Pakistan, the statement said. A “toxic narrative against minorities, particularly Muslims and their persecution” has become a norm, and such incitement to violence had preceded riots in New Delhi in February 2020, the statement added.

“India is expected to investigate these hate speeches and incidents of widespread violence against minorities, particularly Muslims and their houses of worship and take measures to stop such incidents from recurring in future,” the statement said.

Pakistan asked India to ensure the safety, security and wellbeing of its minorities, including protection of their religious places and way of life.

Relations between India and Pakistan are currently at an all-time low and the Indian side has summoned Pakistani diplomats in New Delhi several times in recent months to protest against instances of oppression of Pakistan’s Hindu minority and attacks on Hindu temples.

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