Islamabad: Pakistan on Wednesday categorically rejected Indian Government and senior BJP leadership’s baseless allegations of persecution of minorities in Pakistan and the factually incorrect claims that population of religious minorities in Pakistan had declined from 23% in 1947 to 3.7% in 2011.
While using the 1941 Census data, this Indian falsehood deliberately and mischievously omits references to two major subsequent developments: i.e.,mass migration during the Partition in 1947 and separation of East Pakistan (today’s Bangladesh) in 1971. Both these developments had an impact on the percentage of the minority population in Pakistan.
In actual fact, the press release said the percentage of minorities in Pakistan (formerly West Pakistan) had increased over the past decades.
According to the first Census in Pakistan (1951), the total population of minorities in West Pakistan (today’s Pakistan) was 3.12%, which increased upto 3.72% by 1998. Subsequent Censuses held in Pakistan also reflect an overall increase in the share of minorities: 2.96 % in second Census (1961); 3.25% in third Census (1972); 3.33% in fourth Census (1981); and 3.72% in fifth Census (1998). The 1998 Census data further show that the Hindu population of Pakistan increased from around 1.5% (in 1951) to nearly 2% in 1998.
Pakistan, therefore, condemns the distortion of facts by the BJP Government and leadership to justify the discriminatory legislation like Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the press release said, adding that this attempt, however, was not surprising in view of the smear campaign against Pakistan, being waged by the Indian Government, based on falsehoods and aimed at misleading its own people as well as the international community.
The Indian Government’s claims, it said were also an attempt to cover up its systematic efforts to marginalize and disenfranchise India’s religious and social minorities, particularly Muslims. India’s pretensions of casting itself as a‘haven’ for minorities were completely devoid of any credibility.