Pakistan denies role in India farmers’ protest


ISLAMABAD, JAN 29 – Pakistan on Thursday rejected New Delhi’s claim that Islamabad and Beijing are backing the ongoing protests by farmers in India.

In a weekly news briefing, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said the “baseless and irresponsible” accusations are a continuation of India’s tactic of blaming others for its “internal failings.”

“It may be recalled that Indian Union Minister Raosaheb Danve had alleged that China and Pakistan were behind the ongoing protests by farmers,” Chaudhri said in response to a question.

“Such a baseless and irresponsible statement from Indian Minister reflects the true mindset of the BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] government, who finds it convenient to blame India’s neighbors for all its internal failings.”

He said New Delhi’s actions against minorities have “fully exposed the so-called largest democracy in the world.”

“We have been repeatedly saying that India is not a democracy but an extremist Hindutva regime. The BJP government’s actions against minorities have revealed the true face of India to the world,” said Chaudhri.

Stressing that minorities in India are “finding themselves increasingly insecure,” he reiterated Pakistan’s stance that the prevalent mindset in New Delhi “is not only dangerous for Indian minorities but also imperils regional peace and security.”

Thousands of farmers have been protesting on the outskirts of the capital New Delhi since November against three laws that the government claims are aimed at liberalizing the agriculture sector.

Protesters say the new rules will threaten their livelihoods and leave them at the mercy of major corporations.

Tensions have soared since this week’s violence, with at least one person killed and multiple injuries reported as farmers clashed with police at the historic Red Fort on India’s Republic Day, the anniversary of the country officially adopting its Constitution on Jan. 26, 1950.