While there was no official response from India, government sources said Pakistan should look to its own track record of consistently persecuting its ethnic and religious minorities. Islamabad’s comments arose out of speculation, following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s congratulations to his Pakistani counterpart Shehbaz Sharif and the latter’s response about a possible meeting between the leaders on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Tashkent in July.
Indian government sources said it was too early to talk about a top-level meeting and there was no formal proposal for a meeting yet. While both leaders called for constructive engagement, they also underlined the importance of tackling the core issues first: terrorism for India and J&K for Pakistan.
India and Pakistan have had no substantive bilateral engagement since December 2015, when they launched the extensive bilateral dialogue process. However, this was nipped in the bud by the terror attack on Pathankot airbase that took place weeks later.
In its statement, Pakistan called on the international community, in particular the UN and relevant international human rights and humanitarian organizations, to hold India accountable for its “gross human rights violations against minorities, especially Muslims”.