Human rights organization cautions against spread of communal violence across South Asia

February 2020 witnessed the worst anti-Muslim pogroms in India’s capital Delhi after the 2002 anti-Muslim Gujarat riots and the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) issued a statement that spoke about the “grim situation in Delhi – where violent mobs have seemingly been given a free hand by the administration to lynch citizens from the minority Muslim population, to burn their property, and attack mosques – is highly deplorable. This is happening at a time when the people of Kashmir have already been under siege for seven months.”

The HRCP noted that, “the Delhi violence and Kashmir siege warrant the international community’s immediate attention. Both developments have made minorities across South Asia increasingly vulnerable. We have witnessed equally violent reactions to such events in the past. Communal violence in South Asia does not occur in a vacuum. There is often a domino effect that causes state violence against minorities in one country to trigger violence against that minority in neighbouring countries. Our shared history, languages and cultures, and the fact that all South Asian states are bound to uphold their citizens’ human rights, should serve as collective strengths.”

Thus, the HRCP called on the international community and on all governments “to make every effort to treat all minorities as equal citizens, and to guarantee their protection and wellbeing across the region.”

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