Amid a controversy concerning remarks made by spokespersons of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that have been criticised by various Arab countries, the Ministry of External Affairs on Monday, 6 June, said that it rejects the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's comments on the matter.
The EAM also responded to the statements made by the Pakistani Prime Minister and its foreign ministry, saying that "the absurdity of a serial violator of minority rights commenting on the treatment of minorities in another nation is not lost on anyone."
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), an intergovernmental organisation, which consists of 57 member states, including Pakistan, said, "These remarks come in the context of the escalation of hatred and abuse of Islam in India and in the context of the systematic practices against Muslims and restrictions on them, especially in light of a series of decisions banning headscarves in educational institutions in a number of Indian states and demolitions of Muslim property, in addition to the increase in violence against them,” The Times of India reported.
OIC also called upon the United Nations (UN) to take necessary measures to address "the practices targeting Muslims in India."
What the MEA Said
Retaliating to OIC's statement, the MEA said in a press statement:
"We have seen the statement on India from the General Secretariat of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. Government of India categorically rejects OIC Secretariat's unwarranted and narrow-minded comments."
"The Government of India accords the highest respect to all religions," the ministry further asserted.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also targeted India and said in a tweet, "I condemn in strongest possible words hurtful comments of India's BJP leader about our beloved Prophet (PBUH). Have said it repeatedly India under Modi is trampling religious freedoms and persecuting Muslims. World should take note and severely reprimand India."
He added, "Our love for the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is supreme. All Muslims can sacrifice their life for the Love and Respect of their Holy Prophet (PBUH)."
To this, the EMA rebuked, "World has been witness to the systemic persecution of minorities including Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Ahmadiyyas by Pakistan...This is quite unlike Pakistan where fanatics are eulogized and monuments built in their honour."
"We call on Pakistan to focus on the safety, security and well-being of its minority communities instead of engaging in alarmist propaganda and attempting to foment communal disharmony in India," the EAM statement added further.
Qatar, Iran & Kuwait Summon Indian Envoys
Meanwhile, along with Qatar, Indian ambassadors to Iran and Kuwait were also summoned by the foreign ministries of the respective countries on Sunday, over controversial remarks by now suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma's against Prophet Muhammad.
Responding to Qatar's disappointment, the Indian ambassador told its Qatar counterpart:
"In line with our civilisational heritage and strong cultural traditions of unity in diversity, Government of India accords the highest respect to all religions. Strong action has already been taken against those who made the derogatory remarks."
"Ambassador conveyed that the tweets do not, in any manner, reflect the views of the Government of India. These are the views of fringe elements," a press release by Embassy of India-Doha further added.