The Foreign Office on Wednesday slammed an anti-Islam Facebook post by an Indian extremist which had lead to protests and outrage in the country.
The Foreign Office, in a statement, said: “Pakistan has conveyed its strong condemnation to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad on the reported incident involving a derogatory social media post against the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) by an extremist from the majority Hindu community in Bengaluru, Karnataka.”
According to Indian media, at least three people were killed during clashes with police in the Indian city overnight over the anti-Islam post that sparked protests in which a police station was attacked, and a politician’s house and vehicles were torched.
Unable to quell protesters using batons and tear gas, the police personnel opened fire as they risked being overpowered during the violent unrest in a Muslim-dominated neighborhood, the southern city’s police chief told Reuters on Wednesday.
Police gave the first name of the accused man as Naveen and said he is the nephew of another Congress politician, whose house was attacked and burnt in the violence.
Facebook did not immediately comment on the issue.
The Foreign Office in the statement said, “The offensive post against Islam has hurt Muslims and reflects the rising Islamophobia and targeting of the minority communities in India.”
“The Indian police instead of preventing such crimes against Muslims and Islam, used brute force and killed at least three protesters, and injured many more. As an added injustice, the Muslim community in the area is being falsely framed for alleged vandalism and assault on police personnel,” it said.
The rising incidents of religious hate crime in India are a direct and inescapable consequence of the RSS-BJP combine’s extremist ideology of “Hindutva”, it said, adding that the incident was viewed with concern and the civil society in Pakistan has called for justice for the minority Muslim community in India.
“Pakistan has called upon the Government of India to investigate the incident and take immediate action against the perpetrators of religious hatred,” the FO said.
It also called upon India to ensure the safety, security and well-being of the minority communities, particularly Muslims, and take steps to ensure prevention of hate speech and hate crimes against Islam and protection of religious rights of Muslims.
“The international community, the United Nations and relevant international organizations should play their role against the rising tide of Islamaophobia in India and ensure practical steps for the protection and religious rights of minorities in India,” the statement added.