Ashrafi questions global silence over persecution of minorities in India

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Religious Harmony and the Middle East Tahir Ashrafi on Wednesday questioned the global cold silence over the unprecedented persecution of the minorities in India where Muslims and Christians were being killed and their places of worship were being destroyed with impunity.

Addressing a student convention held at Marhaba Masjid in Rawalpindi, Ashrafi said Muslims, Christians and other minorities in India were being subjected to atrocities.

If there was an incident of rights violation elsewhere, the international community would scream, but it was completely silent on state-sanctioned abuses in India, he lamented. “Today, Kashmir, Palestine, Afghanistan and Burma are not visible to the world.”

Ashrafi said: “Low-caste Hindus are not allowed to drink from the wells reserved for the upper-caste counterparts, attend the same temples, wear shoes in the presence of an upper-caste Hindu or drink from the same cups in tea stalls.”

He said Pakistan had always raised its voice for oppressed segments all over the world facing tyranny and state-sponsored violence.

He said that minorities living in Pakistan should not have any fear, adding: “Islam is a religion of peace, moderation and compassion.” He reiterated that minorities were enjoying equal rights in Pakistan without any discrimination.

“The Constitution of Pakistan is the protector of the rights of Muslims and non-Muslims living in Pakistan,” the adviser added.

He, however, denounced the killing of Sri Lankan factory manager Priyantha Kumar in Sialkot. Terming it a barbaric act, he said there was no room for extremism in Islam.

“The Quran states that whosoever kills one man without any reason, it is as if he has murdered entire mankind”, he added.

He said the life of the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) was a beacon of light for the entire humanity.

He said following the teachings of the Prophet (PBUH), the nation would have to change its thoughts and attitude keeping in view the national, religious and collective interests.

In these times, there was a need that Muslims should prove their love for Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to the world through character, speech and practice.

Ashrafi said the young generation must come to the forefront to play their role in eradicating extremism, terrorism, dowry rituals and spreading the moderate message of Islam.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan was fully committed and sincere to transforming the country into a truly Islamic welfare state on the pattern of the State of Medina.

He appealed to the Chief Justice of Pakistan to hold a speedy trial of the Sialkot incident and punish the accused.

“Even if someone commits blasphemy, the people should not take law into their own hands. It is the responsibility of the state to punish violators of the shameful act,” he said.

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