ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan yesterday denounced India for misguiding the world about the treatment of the Pakistani religious minorities. The foreign ministry said that the percentage of minorities in Pakistan - formerly West Pakistan - had increased over the past decades in contrast to India's allegations.
'Pakistan categorically rejects, once again, the Indian government and senior BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) leadership's baseless allegations of persecution of minorities in Pakistan and the factually incorrect claims that population of religious minorities in Pakistan has declined from 23% in 1947 to 3.7% in 2011,' said a foreign ministry statement.
It added: 'While using the 1941 Census data, this Indian falsehood deliberately and mischievously omits references to two major subsequent developments - 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.'
FO says religious minorities population increased in Pakistan
In actual fact, it said, 'the percentage of minorities in Pakistan (formerly West Pakistan) has increased over the past decades. This is borne out conclusively by the available Census data in Pakistan.'
The foreign ministry statement said, 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,' it elaborated.
Pakistan, it said, 'condemns the distortion of facts by the BJP Government and leadership to justify the discriminatory legislation like Citizenship (Amendment) Act. This attempt, however, is 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.'