Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, a member of Pakistan’s National Assembly and patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council, called on the country’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday to discuss what he referred to as the “Jodhpur incident”, according to a statement issued by Pakistan’s foreign affairs ministry.
It was in reference to an incident in the Indian village of Lodta in Rajasthan state’s Jodhpur district on August 9, when 11 Pakistani Hindu migrants were found dead at a farm under mysterious circumstances, according to reports.
According to a PTI report, the family had moved to India from Pakistan’s Sindh province in 2015 on long-term visas. They had been living in Lodta for the past six months, where they were hired to work on a farm.
Earlier this month, Pakistan had summoned the India’s charge d’affaires in Islamabad to convey the government’s concern over the deaths, as per news reports.
The Pakistan foreign ministry’s press statement said Vankwani briefed Qureshi about the anxiety in the Pakistani Hindu community over last month’s incident in Rajasthan. He said that Shrimati Mukhi, the daughter of the deceased head of the family, had filed an FIR in Sanghar over the incident.
As per the press statement, Vankwani claimed that according to Mukhi, her father, mother and other family members were murdered after refusing to spy on Pakistan and issue anti-Pakistan statements at the behest of an Indian intelligence agency.
The statement also said that the Pakistan foreign minister informed Vankwani that the government had taken up the issue with India through diplomatic channels in Islamabad and New Delhi.
Immediately after the incident, the Pakistan high commission in New Delhi had asked the Indian government for access to a surviving member of the family, sharing of copies of the FIR and initial investigation report, and facilitating the presence of the high commission’s representatives during post-mortem of the deceased persons, the statement added.
According to the press note, Qureshi assured Vankwani that the safety and security of Pakistani nationals was the responsibility of the Pakistan government. He added that since the victims of “Jodhpur incident” were Pakistani nationals, it was incumbent upon Islamabad to be fully aware of the circumstances under which the Pakistani nationals died in India.
Appreciating the efforts made by the Pakistan government over the incident, Vankwani said the Hindu community would take necessary steps to register its protest over the deaths, the press statement concluded.
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