ISLAMABAD – Pakistan on Saturday called out Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “distorting history” after he announced that August 14 — Pakistan’s Independence Day — will be observed as “Partition Horrors Remembrance Day” in India.
As Pakistan celebrated its 75th day of independence, the Indian prime minister took to Twitter to make the controversial announcement.
“Millions of our sisters and brothers were displaced and many lost their lives due to mindless hate and violence,” he tweeted. “In memory of the struggles and sacrifices of our people, August 14 will be observed as Partition Horrors Remembrance Day.”
“May [this day] keep reminding us of the need to remove the poison of social divisions, disharmony and further strengthen the spirit of oneness, social harmony and human empowerment,” Modi added.
In a statement, Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri dubbed Modi’s move “a political and publicity stunt”, and said that “no modern state is so much in contradiction with itself as the Indian state – the so-called ‘largest democracy’.”
“It is shameful that the practitioners of ‘Hindutva’ ideology, and purveyors of hate and violence, would so hypocritically and one-sidedly invoke the tragic events and mass migration that occurred in the wake of Independence in 1947.
“Distorting history and stoking communalism is the special forte of the RSS-BJP regime. Far from doing anything to heal old wounds, they would go to any extent to sow further dissensions for electoral gains,” he said.
The FO spokesperson said that Pakistan was sure that the people of goodwill in India would reject this “political and publicity stunt” that only seeks to divide.
Meanwhile, the government of India also notified the decision to observe the day of Pakistan’s Independence as “Partition Horrors Remembrance Day”.The gazette notification, shared by the Indian news agency ANI, stated that the move was aimed at reminding “the present and future generations of Indians of the pain and sufferings faced by the people of India during the Partition”.