In the middle of a pandemic that has affected the whole world, India and Pakistan are caught up in a war of words: a day after New Delhi slammed Pakistan for Imran Khan’s statement on alleged mistreatment of minorities in India, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry dismissed remarks by an Indian Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson, terming them “irresponsible and completely ill-founded”.
Rejecting the remarks as “reflective of India's perennial state of denial with regards to the rights of minorities, particularly Muslims, in India”, the Pakistan Foreign Ministry said in a statement: “The treatment of minorities is a matter of serious concern not only for the Indian minorities and the neighbouring countries but also for the international community”.
On Sunday, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan compared the Modi government with the Nazis.
The deliberate & violent targeting of Muslims in India by Modi Govt to divert the backlash over its COVID19 policy, which has left thousands stranded & hungry, is akin to what Nazis did to Jews in Gerrmany. Yet more proof of the racist Hindutva Supremacist ideology of Modi Govt.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) April 19, 2020
On Tuesday, Pakistan's Foreign Ministry reiterated a similar sentiment in its statement. “It is deeply disconcerting that the discriminatory and anti-Muslim policies and practices of the RSS-inspired BJP Government persist even as the Covid-19 pandemic unfolds”, the statement reads.
It further accused India of carrying out a campaign “to demonise Muslims, who face further exclusion as well as increasing threat of mob violence”.
India's External Affairs Ministry said on Monday that instead of concentrating on fighting COVID-19, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is making a “baseless allegation” against India “to shift focus from the abysmal handling of their internal affairs”.
Pakistan’s allegations of mistreatment of Muslims come against the backdrop of reports that more than 2,000 people attended a religious congregation in Delhi and many of them were found positive for COVID-19. The large numbers of positive cases emerging from one incident has created hysteria among the public, resulting in a boycott of the Muslim community in many places.