Pakistan strongly condemns the arbitrary arrests and illegal detention of prominent Islamic scholars, including Maulana Abdul Rasheed Dawoodi, Maulana Mushtaq Ahmed Veeri and five members of Jamaat-e-Islami, in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Sunday.
“These deplorable actions only days ahead of the UN General Assembly session manifest India’s growing intransigence, and utter disregard of human rights and fundamental freedoms,” the statement read.
The Foreign Office said that these arrests have marked a new low in the Indian occupation forces’ blatant and continued onslaught on the human rights of the innocent Kashmiris.
“The illegal detention of the Kashmiri Islamic scholars while the true representatives of the Kashmiri people are already under Indian custody under fictitious cases and on fallacious grounds, is yet another Indian attempt to rob the Kashmiri people of their distinct religious and cultural identity,” it said.
Terming the detentions reprehensible, the FO said that the arrests under the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA) that defies all international humanitarian laws and permits preventive detention for two long years without the need of any trial, is a deplorable preemptive step by the Indian authorities planning to illegally occupy the religiously significant ‘Waqf Board’ properties.
It further stated that the scholars have not only been unjustifiably arrested but shifted from Kashmir to a prison in the Hindu majority Jammu under the Indian apprehensions of widespread protests and unrest in the face of such a malicious move.
“These politically motivated arrests are clearly meant to stifle the voice of the Muslims of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir and further marginalise them,” it added.
The FO called on Pakistan’s behalf for the immediate release of these religious scholars and all other Kashmiri prisoners illegally detained by India. It also urged the international community to take note of the dangerously growing trajectory of Islamophobia in India, instigated at the behest of the BJP-RSS nexus, that is aimed at suppressing the Muslims of India, denying them space to freely practice their faith and attacking their places of worship.