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Sushma Swaraj gets into Twitter spat with Pakistani minister on the treatment of minorities

Sushma Swaraj tweeted that she had asked for a report from the Indian High Commissioner about the forced conversion of two Hindu girls, triggering the spat.

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New Delhi: A war of words broke out on Twitter over the weekend between India’s external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistan’s federal minister for information and broadcasting, Fawad Hussain Chaudhry. Both accused the other’s countries of maltreating their minorities.

It started with Swaraj’s tweet Saturday evening, in which she said she had sought a report from India’s High Commissioner in Pakistan, Ajay Bisaria, over the reports of the abduction of two Hindu girls in Pakistan and their forceful conversion to Islam.

Attaching the link to a news article, she tweeted: “I have asked Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan to send a report on this.”

In response to Swaraj’s tweet, Chaudhry accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government of suppressing minorities in India while praising his own Prime Minister, Imran Khan and his ‘naya’ Pakistan.

“Mam its Pakistin (sic) internal issue and rest assure its not Modi’s India where minorities are subjugated its Imran Khan’s Naya Pak where white color of our flag is equally dearer to us. I hope you ll act with same diligence when it comes to rights of Indian Minorities,” he said.

Swaraj responded by telling Chaudhry that his “jittery” reaction showed his “guilty conscience”.

“Mr.Minister @fawadchaudhry- I only asked for a report from Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad about the kidnapping and forced conversion of two minor Hindu girls to Islam. This was enough to make you jittery. This only shows your guilty conscience.”

Deteriorating relations

The diplomatic relationship between Indian and Pakistan has been deteriorating since the Pulwama terror attack, in which at least 40 CRPF personnel were killed on 14 February. In response, the Indian Air Force bombed a major training camps of the terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot, Pakistan, on 26 February.

On 22 March, several non-diplomats, including journalists, who went to attend a Pakistan Day function at the country’s High Commission in New Delhi were informed that the Indian government had decided to boycott the event, and that it was up to their “conscience” to decide if they wanted to attend or not. Several journalists tweeted about the episode.

On the other hand, PM Modi sent greetings to his counterpart Imran Khan, who welcomed the message with a tweet: “I welcome PM Modi’s message to our people. As we celebrate Pakistan Day I believe it is time to begin a comprehensive dialogue with India to address & resolve all issues, esp the central issue of Kashmir, & forge a new relationship based on peace & prosperity for all our people.”

Also read: Sushma Swaraj takes OIC stage 50 years after India’s big diplomatic embarrassment there


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