Pakistan condemned anti-Azaan (Muslims’ call to prayer) measures outside mosques in the Indian state of Karnataka on Tuesday, calling it a “new level of religious radicalism,” according to the Pakistani foreign office.
Religious freedom in India has deteriorated substantially under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government, according to rights groups and minority activists. Modi’s government denies discriminating against Muslims or other religious minorities.
India was placed on a list of “countries of particular concern” by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom last month.
The panel, which is formed to provide recommendations but does not shape US policy, has expressed widespread concern over South Asia for the third year in a row.
The Pakistani foreign office issued a statement criticizing “the most deplorable incidents involving the playing of Hanuman Chalisa and other Hindu devotional songs on loudspeakers as a counter to the Muslims’ call to prayer at numerous mosques in the Indian state of Karnataka.”
It was just a day after the Sri Ram Sena chief made the despicable demand for “drowning” the Azaan via offensive playing of Hanuman Chalisa and other Hindu religious hymns, according to the report.
“It is reprehensible that Hindu fanatic groups in Karnataka have begun the reprehensible ‘Azan se Azaadi’ campaign, which exposes the new level of religious radicalism in the BJP (Bharataiya Janata Party)-ruled India,” the statement stated.
Islamabad has urged the Indian government to examine incidences of widespread violence against minorities, notably Muslims, and their places of worship in a transparent manner, and to take steps to prevent repeat events.
The government of India must ensure the safety, security, and well-being of minorities, it added.
The foreign office urged the international community to take note of the aggravating situation of Islamophobia in India, and play its due role in ensuring the religious freedom and safety of Muslims residing in India.