India Rejects OIC’s Remarks As ‘Narrow-Minded’

MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi | File Photo

New Delhi- Amid growing criticism by the Islamic countries over controversial remarks made by now-suspended and expelled BJP leaders against Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)), India on Monday slammed the comments by OIC as “narrow-minded” and “motivated, misleading and mischievous”.

New Delhi also hit back at Pakistan after its Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif reacted sharply on Twitter to condemn remarks by Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal, saying the “absurdity of a serial violator of minority rights” commenting on the treatment of minorities in another nation is not lost on anyone.

Reacting strongly to remarks by the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC), External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India accords “highest respect” to all religions and that the statement by the 57-member grouping exposed its “divisive agenda” which is being pursued at the behest of “vested interests.”

The OIC also urged the UN to take necessary measures to ensure that the rights of Muslims are protected in India.

“We have seen the statement on India from the General Secretariat of the OIC.

The government of India categorically rejects the OIC Secretariat’s unwarranted and narrow-minded comments. The government of India accords the highest respect to all religions,” Bagchi said.

“The offensive tweets and comments denigrating a religious personality were made by certain individuals. They do not, in any manner, reflect the views of the government of India,” he said.

Bagchi said strong action has already been taken against these individuals by relevant bodies.

“It is regrettable that the OIC Secretariat has yet again chosen to make motivated, misleading and mischievous comments. This only exposes its divisive agenda being pursued at the behest of vested interests,” he said.

“We would urge the OIC Secretariat to stop pursuing its communal approach and show due respect to all faiths and religions,” he said.

Referring to criticism by Sharif and the Pakistan Foreign Ministry, Bagchi said the “absurdity of a serial violator of minority rights commenting on the treatment of minorities in another nation is not lost on anyone.”

“The world has been witness to the systemic persecution of minorities including Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Ahmadiyyas by Pakistan. The world has been witness to the systemic persecution of minorities including Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Ahmadiyyas by Pakistan,” he said.

Bagchi said the government “accords the highest respect to all religions. This is quite unlike Pakistan where fanatics are eulogized and monuments built in their honour.”

In a tweet on Sunday, Sharif condemned the controversial comments and alleged that India is “trampling religious freedoms and persecuting Muslims.”

The Pakistan foreign ministry also criticised New Delhi over the remarks.

Also on Monday, Pakistan said it has summoned the Indian charg d’affaires to convey its categorical rejection and that the remarks are totally unacceptable and have not only deeply hurt the sentiments of the people of Pakistan but of Muslims across the world.

The comments by Sharma and Jindal triggered widespread anger in the Arab world as Qatar, Kuwait and Iran on Sunday summoned the Indian ambassadors. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Afghanistan also joined these nations on Monday to condemn the controversial remarks, stressing the importance of respecting all religious beliefs.

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