Expressing concerns over the prevailing political situation in the neighbouring country, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said the “extremist agenda” of his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi’s government was a “threat” to regional peace.
The premier’s concern comes amid reports of harassment and hate speeches against minorities in India. Last month, hardline Hindu vigilante groups had disrupted Christmas mass in many parts of the country, including in PM Modi’s main territory.
The disruption of Christmas celebrations included the vandalising of a life-size statue of Jesus Christ at Ambala in Haryana, a northern state governed by Modi’s nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), The Hindu newspaper had said.
In the same month, a video of a Hindu religious event was making rounds on social media in which the far-right leaders had issued calls for the ethnic cleansing of minorities in the country, especially targeting its 200 million-strong Muslim population. According to police, they had launched a hate-speech investigation into the event in Haridwar, in northern Uttarakhand state.
“The continuing silence of Modi govt on the call at an extremist Hindutva summit in Dec for the genocide of minorities in India, especially the 200 million Muslim community, begs the question whether the BJP govt supports this call. It is high time the international community took note & acted,” PM Imran said in a series of tweets.
It is not the first time the premier had called for the world’s attention towards India’s situation under the Modi-led government rule. In his previous speeches, he had criticised Modi’s rule of government and expressed grave concerns over Muslims condition in the neighbouring country.
“Under the extremist ideology of the BJP Modi govt, all religious minorities in India have been targeted with impunity by Hindutva groups. The extremist agenda of the Modi govt is a real and present threat to peace in our region,” the premier added.
Many Indian Congress leaders and actors have also frowned upon the prevailing situation in the country. “India could lead to genocide if attempts for the Muslim genocide and ethnic cleansing continued,” veteran Indian actor Naseeruddin Shah said in an interview with prominent Indian journalist Karan Thapar for The Wire on December 30, 2021.
Such incidents had also prompted a sharp reaction from the Foreign Office. It had condemned such speeches and urged the world community to pay attention to minorities in the neighbouring country.