India Gives Pakistan PM Imran Khan A Befitting Reply
By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 13, Dec 2019, 10:09 am IST | UPDATED: 15, Dec 2019, 13:23 pm IST
Delhi: Hours after Imran Khan raised eyebrows at the Citizenship Amendment Bill passed passed by Rajya Sabha, Indian Foreign Ministry lashed out at Pakistan Prime Minister stating that such "unwarranted" criticism cannot absolve Islamabad of the "blatant persecution" of religious minorities in the neighbouring country. India's reply came hours after Khan severely criticised the Citizenship Bill describing it as a “complete violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international covenants”.
Hitting out at the neighbouring country, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the persecution of the religious minorities in Pakistan flows from the country's Constitution and its "draconian" blasphemy laws. "I am not going to respond to every unwarranted and gratuitous comments made by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on our internal affairs," Kumar said.
"Such comments cannot absolve Pakistan of the blatant persecution of the religious minorities which flows, including from the discrimination imbibed in its Constitution, the draconian blasphemy laws and the apathy of state institutions in protecting girls belonging to minority community from rape, abduction, forced conversion and marriages," Kumar said.
He said Pakistan needs to look inwards and ensure protection and promotion of the rights of its minorities rather than "compulsively" commenting on internal affairs of other countries in the breach of internationally recognised norms.
Earlier, Khan had said that the bill "violates all norms of international human rights law and bilateral agreements with Pakistan" and that "it is part of the RSS Hindu Rashtra design of expansionism."
Even the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came down hard on Pakistan PM for his comments on the Citizenship Bill describing his remarks as a blatant interference in India's affairs. "Imran Khan's comments on India's legislation constitute blatant interference in India's affairs...India is protecting minorities you (Imran Khan) failed to protect. With your views similar to the Congress on Article 370, CAB, etc, Tehreek-e-Insaf is looking like a new partner of Cong-led UPA," BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said.
Pakistan on Tuesday said India's "regressive and discriminatory" Citizenship (Amendment) Bill reflects its "malafide intent" to interfere in the affairs of neighbouring countries based on religion, with Imran Khan describing the proposed legislation as a "design of expansionism".
The Bill that was finally passed in the Rajya Sabha after more than 6-hour long debate seeks to provide citizenship to non-Muslim persecuted religious minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Lok Sabha had passed the contentious bill on Monday while the Rajya Sabha cleared it on Wednesday notwithstanding simmering anger against the bill for last several months. The bill will become a law once President Ram Nath Kovind gives it his assent.