Home / News / India /  Qatar summons Indian envoy over controversial remarks by BJP officials

The Qatar foreign ministry on Sunday summoned Indian ambassador Deepak Mittal and handed him an official note, expressing disappointment and total rejection and condemnation of controversial remarks made against Prophet Mohammed by BJP officials Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal. 

While the authorities in Qatar welcomed the ruling government's move to suspend Sharma and expel Jindal, they also made clear their expectation of a public apology and immediate condemnation of the controversial statements. 

They pointed out that “allowing such Islamophobic remarks to continue without punishment, constitutes a grave danger to the protection of human rights and may lead to further prejudice and marginalization."

The note also stated that these “insulting remakes would lead to incitement of religious hatred, and offend more than two billion Muslims around the world, and indicate the clear ignorance of the pivotal role that Islam has played in the development of civilizations around the world, including in India."

Following this, the Indian Embassy in Qatar said that Mittal has conveyed that the "tweets do not, in any manner, reflect the views of the Government of India. These are the views of fringe elements".

"In line with our civilisational heritage and strong cultural traditions of unity in diversity, Government of India accords the highest respect to all religions. Strong action has already been taken against those who made the derogatory remarks," read a statement by the embassy. 

“Vested interests that are against the India-Qatar relations have been inciting the people using these derogatory comments. We should work together against such mischievous elements who aim to undercut the strength of our bilateral ties," it added. 

BJP's statement

In its efforts to defuse the tensions, the BJP earlier in the day issued a statement aimed at assuaging the concerns of minorities and distancing itself from Sharma and Jindal. 

The party asserted that it respects all religions and strongly denounces the insult of any religious personality.

After her suspension, Sharma unconditionally withdrew her controversial statement made in a TV debate and claimed that her comments were a reaction to "continuous insult and disrespect towards our Mahadev"' (Lord Shiva).

Both Sharma and Jindal said it was never their intention to hurt anyone's religious feelings.

A communication to Sharma from the party's disciplinary committee secretary Om Pathak said she has expressed views contrary to the party's position on various matters, which is in clear violation of its constitution.

A communication from Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta to Jindal said his views on social media vitiate communal harmony and are in violation of the party's fundamental beliefs.

He has acted against the party's policies and ideology, Gupta said.

Vice President's Qatar visit 

Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Qatar, Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani received Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu at Amiri Diwan in Doha on Sunday.

"PM & Minister of Interior of Qatar, Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani received VP @MVenkaiahNaidu at Amiri Diwan in Doha," tweeted MEA spox Arindam Bagchi while he informed about the congregation.

Continuing the thread, he said that both sides held delegation-level talks and reviewed bilateral relations including trade, investment, and economic and security cooperation.



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