New Delhi: India is one of the safe havens for persecuted minorities, Maldives’ Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed said clarifying the stand of the Maldives regarding the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. “I have complete trust in Indian democracy and whatever comes out from the process would be what the majority of people from India want. It is India’s internal matter,” he said.

Pakistan, on the other hand, reiterated its criticism of the Act and slammed India for criticising Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s remarks.

Prime Minister Khan on Thursday criticised the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill as a manifestation of India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi going ahead with “Hindu supremacist agenda”.

India lambasted Prime Minister Khan for castigating the bill, saying such “unwarranted” criticism cannot absolve Pakistan of the “blatant persecution” of religious minorities in the neighbouring country.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the persecution of the religious minorities in Pakistan flows from the country’s Constitution and its “draconian” blasphemy laws.

Reacting to Kumar’s statement, the Pakistan Foreign Office said on Friday: “We reject comments by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs’s Spokesperson about a tweet of the Prime Minister of Pakistan regarding discriminatory citizenship bill passed by the Indian Parliament this week”.

“We reiterate that this Indian legislation is premised on falsehood, both with regard to the alleged decline in non-Muslim population in Pakistan as well as their alleged persecution in the country,” the Foreign Office said.

India should be the “last country to pretend to be a protector” of the minorities, as the international media widely “reported on and condemned the deplorable conditions of the minorities in India”, especially since the current BJP government took office in 2014, it said.

It also claimed that the “persecution” of nearly 8 million Kashmiri Muslims for over four months was a testimony to India being a country with no respect for human rights and minority rights. “We urge the international community to take notice of the violation of minorities” rights in India, including the Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir,” it said.

Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya and parts of Arunachal Pradesh have been witnessing large-scale protests in the last two days with thousands of people hitting the streets defying prohibitory orders to demand scrapping of the contentious law.

(With PTI Inputs)