ISLAMABAD: Pakistan condemned on Tuesday “deeply disturbing” anti-Azaan measures taken in India’s Karnataka state.
A spokesperson for the Foreign Office in a statement said that, “Pakistan condemns in the strongest possible terms the highly deplorable incidents involving playing of Hanuman Chalisa and other Hindu devotional songs on loudspeakers as a counter to the Muslims’ call to prayer (Azaan) at various mosques in Karnataka.”
He said the disturbing incidents occurred only a day after the head of Sri Ram Sena, a right-wing Hindu group, made a despicable call for “drowning” Azaan through the provocative playing of Hanuman Chalisa and other Hindu religious hymns.
“It is condemnable that a reprehensible so-called “Azan se Azaadi’ campaign has been launched by Hindu fanatic groups in Karnataka which lays bare the new level of religious radicalism in the BJP-ruled India,” the spokesperson added.
He noted with deep regret that loudspeakers were being removed from mosques across various states in India under the pretext of ensuring ‘communal harmony’. “The ‘othering’ of Muslims in India and exclusionary policies aimed at denying their fundamental right to profess and practice their religion, only expose the deep-seated anti-Muslim prejudices in the Indian state and society,” he maintained.
The spokesperson called upon the Indian government to transparently investigate the incidents of widespread violence against minorities, particularly Muslims, and their places of worship and take measures to stop such incidents from recurring in the future.
“The Government of India must ensure the safety, security and well-being of minorities,” he added.