'Unwarranted, narrow-minded': New Delhi reacts to Islamic nations' comments on Prophet Muhammad row

"We have seen the statement on India from the General Secretariat of the OIC. Government of India categorically rejects OIC Secretariat's unwarranted and narrow-minded comments," MEA said

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Monday, June 06, 2022, 02:02 PM IST
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi | PTI

On Monday, the Government of India reacted to the criticism levelled by Islamic nations, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Qatar and Kuwait, regarding the row over controversial statements made by BJP figures Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal.

"We have seen the statement on India from the General Secretariat of the OIC. Government of India categorically rejects OIC Secretariat's unwarranted and narrow-minded comments. The Government of India accords the highest respect to all religions," the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

In addition, India on Monday slammed Pakistan for criticising it following certain controversial remarks against Prophet Mohammed by two BJP functionaries.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the "absurdity of a serial violator of minority rights commenting on the treatment of minorities in another nation is not lost on anyone." "The world has been witness to the systemic persecution of minorities including Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Ahmadiyyas by Pakistan," he said.

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the controversial remarks by the BJP functionaries on Sunday.

"The Government of India accords the highest respect to all religions. This is quite unlike Pakistan where fanatics are eulogized and monuments built in their honour," Bagchi said.

"We call on Pakistan to focus on the safety, security and well-being of its minority communities instead of engaging in alarmist propaganda and attempting to foment communal disharmony in India," he said.

The BJP has already suspended its national spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled the party's Delhi unit media head Naveen Jindal for their controversial remarks following widespread anger in several Gulf countries.

"The offensive tweets and comments denigrating a religious personality were made by certain individuals. They do not, in any manner, reflect the views of the Government of India. Strong action has already been taken against these individuals by relevant bodies," the MEA went on to say.

"It is regrettable that OIC Secretariat has yet again chosen to make motivated, misleading and mischievous comments. This only exposes its divisive agenda being pursued at the behest of vested interests," The MEA concluded.

The OIC is an intergovernmental organisation of largely Muslim-dominated nations, whose member states include Pakistan. India has frequently condemned the OIC for commenting on the country's internal matters, such as those linked to Jammu and Kashmir. The OIC calls itself "the collective voice of the Muslim world".

Notably, India, with a population of 200 million Muslims, is not a member.

(with inputs from PTI)

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