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Uscirf 2020 Annual Report Shows Mirror to India for Poor Treatment of its Minorities

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Masroor Ahmad

The Indian’s maltreatment of its minorities, particularly Muslim minority is being acknowledged from across the world. The BJP led Government in India has rendered the Muslims as socially untouchable community due to rising biasedness. The matter has reached to the point that Muslims are being lynched in India for spreading Corona virus. Sadly conspiracy theories are being propagated alleging Muslims to be the cause of spreading this pandemic or the Corona terrorism. They have separate wards in hospitals and a massive propaganda is being carried out for their social boycott. Fake video clips purporting to show Muslims spitting on security officials led to the spread of a “Corona Jehad” hashtag on Twitter, despite the videos being debunked. This is something very alarming and the world needs to take serious notice of it before it is too late as the insanity in India is at its height.

Recently, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has issued a report in which it has recorded sharp downward turn in India regarding religious freedom. The organization designated India as a country of “Particular Concern” (CPC), “engaging in and tolerating systematic, ongoing and egregious religious freedom violations. Perhaps the steepest and most alarming deterioration in religious freedom conditions in India”. The report mentioned Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and Assam’s NRC which potentially exposes millions of Muslims to detention and stated that “BJP leaders have continued to advocate for nation-wide NRC” and coupled with the CAA “Muslims alone would bear the indignities and consequences of potential statelessness”. It also figured out Modi government policies in contemporary period that targeted Muslim population specifically featuring various BJP leaders’ hateful comments against the country’s largest minority. The report encourages to the US government to impose targeted sanction on Indian Government agencies and officials responsible for sever violations of religious freedom by freezing those individuals’ assets as well as barring their entry into the United States under human rights related financial and visa authorities, citing specific religious freedom violations.

In another development some Middle East countries have also taken serious notice of human rights violation in India while Kuwait called on the Organisation of International Cooperation to take ‘urgent measures’ to preserve rights of Indian Muslims. The General Secretariat of the Kuwait Council of Ministers reportedly expressed its deep concern about the treatment of Indian Muslims seeking intervention of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) to address the issue of state sponsored anti-Muslim drive in India. Abdullah al-Shoreka, a minister in Kuwait’s Ministry of Auqaf and Islamic Affairs, tweeted that it was time for Musims to speak up against the persecution of their co-religionists.

 

This is the first time in more than 15 years that India has been designated a “country of particular concern” which is a moral win for Pakistan as it has been highlighting Indian violation of human rights for a long time.          The USCIRF 2020 report appreciated Pakistan’s efforts saying, “One of the things that has been important for us with Pakistan is that the government engaged in dialogue about how religious freedom concerns can be addressed.” In the month of February the Indian Capital Delhi witnessed organized hate crime and violence against the Muslims that led to dozens of deaths at hands of hindu nationalist under the umbrella of security forces.

 

The initiatives of Indian Government reflected poor management of the situation and an unplanned lockdown which affected millions of Indian workers. The International Labor Organisation (ILO) has stated that 400 million Indian working in the informal economy risk falling deeper into poverty during the crisis. Instead of overcoming its administrative loopholes the Indian Government instead is exploiting poor handling of corona through stigmatization and blame game accusing Muslims for spread of pandemic creating an atmosphere of Islamophobia at home and abroad. The present awakening in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) against Indian deep seated hate towards Muslims and Arabs is a rare chance to give a serious blow to Indian interests and influence in GCC as millions of Indians are working in Gulf countries which is major source of foreign remittance to India. India will also risks business partnerships with gulf countries if it didn’t mend its attitude towards poor handling of its Muslim population.

 

The pomp and show of recent Trump visit as claimed by India has totally failed to bear results of Indian choice and presented Modi and India a dumb nation utterly clueless of international relations dynamics. As a matter of fact, the visit of Trump proved a wild goose chase and Indian’s high hopes were shattered. Trump didn’t utter anything against Pakistan despite the impulse of Indian media. The Indians seems to have lost their confidence on account of failure of their ‘mission’ in Afghanistan due to successful peace accord between Taliban and US for which Pakistan is being credited. The Indian frustration is victimizing the Indian Muslims particularly the Kashmiris who are facing brutalities by Indian security forces as well as by Hindu Nationalists.

 

The report of USCIRF is a diplomatic win for Pakistan which has paid dividends and amplified the importance of positive diplomatic engagements. Pakistan is taking concrete steps to ensure safety of its minorities. A number of religious temples have been renovated and handed over to minorities for religious worship. Government and civil society in Pakistan take serious action on atrocities against minorities. Furthermore, opening of Kartarpur corridor and Baba Guru Nanak University reflects the vision of Pakistan for treatment of its minorities which has been widely acknowledged not only by Indians but also by the global community. It is the choice of the Indians either to learn some good lessons from Pakistan or continue to remain on crossroads annoying the whole world on the subject of minorities.

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