US Should Censure Pakistan Railway Minister for Egregious Statements Against Religious Freedom

Washington, DC (February 20, 2019) — In response to a recent statement on Radio Pakistan by Pakistan’s Minister for Railways Sheikh Ahmad Rasheed, in which he asserts that if India were to seek out Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists in his country, “their eyes would be ripped out, the grass will not grow, the birds will not chirp, and the bells won’t toll in the mandirs,” HAF Director of Government Relations Jay Kansara stated,

“Minister Rasheed’s statement is an affront to Hindus in the region and around the world. His assertion that such actions would be defending the pride of Muslims around the world ignores the reality that Muslims in Pakistan have themselves been victims of terrorism. It also fails to acknowledge that religious minorities in Pakistan — Hindus, Christians, Shia and Ahmadi Muslims alike — have long suffered persecution under the growing Islamization of the country. Hindus have been victims of forced conversions, temple land confiscation, and have been demeaned by state-sanctioned textbook curriculum.”

HAF requests the US State Department censure Rasheed, under the International Religious Freedom Act, for these egregious statements.