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At NAM meet, called to discuss pandemic, Pakistan talks of Islamophobia

Pakistan on Monday used the platform provided by a Non-Aligned Movement meet, that was called to discuss strategy to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic, to launch a broadside against India on the alleged mistreatment of Muslim minorities in the country and the Kashmir dispute.

In his speech, Pakistan’s President Arif Alvi who spoke before Prime Minister Narednra Modi, did not name India. But he spoke of “Islamophobia”, use of “hate speech”, “the incitement of hatred”, the “scapegoating” of a particular community and the denial of a access to medical attention to the community in Pakistan’s “immediate neighbourhood.” This follows reports of the alleged vilification of Muslims in India after it was found that a congregation of the Tablighi Jamaat missionary movement had been a cause for a spike in cases of covid-19 in India.

In his speech, Alvi spoke of the reported specific targeting of Muslims in India and also drew attention to the so called lockdown in Kashmir which he said was standing in the way of Kashmiris getting access to medical attention in these times.

“Kashmiris continue to be denied high speed internet and other facilities,” he said, adding that many Kashmiri leaders were “languishing in prisons” – a reference to some politicians being kept in preventive detention after India revoked the special status given to Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.

Many of those who had been kept in preventive custody had been released ahead of the lockdown imposed across India on 24 March to contain the spread of covid-19 in India.

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