India on Thursday called upon Pakistan to end its “discriminatory” approach towards its minorities and ensure their safety in view of a recent case of the alleged kidnapping and forced conversion to Islam of a Sikh girl from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
According to reports, Dina Kaur was kidnapped and converted to Islam last week but the police refused to file an FIR which triggered a protest by the Sikh community in the Pakistani province.
“It is shocking to see such further levels of religious intolerance in Pakistan. The apathy of law enforcement agencies towards religious minorities is of course part of that system. We see this as yet another instance of religious persecution faced by the minority community in Pakistan,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.
He was replying to a question on the incident during a media briefing.
Mr Bagchi also cited a number of incidents of targeted attacks on minorities in Pakistan in the recent past including the killing of an 18-year-old Hindu woman for resisting abduction in March and the brutal murder of a Christian pastor in Peshawar in February.
“From our perspective, these instances reveal the atmosphere of insecurity faced by religious minorities in Pakistan and we strongly condemn the targeting of minorities there including Hindus, Sikhs and Christians,” Mr Bagchi said.
“The government of India has been raising these issues through diplomatic channels with the government of Pakistan and we call on Pakistan to end this discriminatory approach towards its minorities and discharge its responsibility towards safety, security and well-being of all its citizens,” he said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)