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Pakistan summons Indian envoy, issues demarche over derogatory remarks

The Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday summoned the Indian Charge d’ Affaires and conveyed the Islamabad government’s “categorical rejection and strong condemnation” of the derogatory remarks made by two former spokespersons of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The Indian envoy was told that these remarks were totally unacceptable and had not only deeply hurt the sentiments of the people of Pakistan but of Muslims across the world, Dunya News quoted the Ministry as saying.

He was further told that Pakistan “deplores the belated and perfunctory disciplinary actions taken by the BJP government against the said officials, which cannot assuage the pain caused to the Muslims”.

“Pakistan is deeply concerned at the alarming rise in communal violence and hatred against the Muslims in India. Muslims are being systematically stigmatized, marginalised and subjected to a well-orchestrated onslaught from radical Hindu mobs with full connivance and support of the security apparatus across various states in India,” the Ministry said in a statement.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, President Arif Alvi, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and former premier Imran Khan have all condemned the remarks made by the former BJP spokespersons Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal.

On Sunday, the BJP suspended Sharma and Jindal for their comments on Prophet Muhammad and said that party’s view is to respect all religions.

Pakistan has joined Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Iran to condemn the remarks.

India’s ambassadors to Kuwait and Qatar were summoned on Sunday to receive official notes of protest over the comments.

Doha has also demanded the Indian government issue a public apology.

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