`Take issue of persecution of minorities in Pak`
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Last Updated: Saturday, March 24, 2012, 22:32
Allahabad: Most parts of Pakistan are witnessing gross violation of human rights against religious minorities which is fuelling their migration, BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi on Saturday alleged, demanding India must raise the issue on the international fora.

"Most parts of Pakistan are witnessing gross violation of human rights resulting in large scale migration of religious minorities, many of them Hindus.

"It is surprising that our government, which has been so sensitive about issues concerning the religious minorities within the country and other parts of the world, has been keeping silent with regard to the happenings in the neighbouring country," Joshi told reporters here.

We request the government to raise the issue on international fora besides taking up the matter with Pakistan and make all possible efforts towards putting a check on human rights violation in that country, he said.

Joshi also charged the UPA government with displaying "insensitivity" towards the common people in the Union Budget presented last week.

The regime was trying to "wriggle out of its failures on the economic front by crushing the public under an oppressive tax regime", he alleged.

"The Union Budget is indicative of insensitivity towards the common people. It proposes to raise nearly a whopping Rs 40,000 crore by way of indirect taxes which will affect mainly those who can not be categorised as affluent," Joshi said.

Besides, the ambit of service taxes has been expanded and service tax on many items has been increased, this too will hit the ordinary working class, the former Union Minister said.

Of late, the government has developed a new obsession - that of fudging statistics relating to poverty, he said.

It should realise that such gimmicks do not result in eradication of poverty, he added.

Joshi also expressed concern over the widening economic disparity in the country.

"Where on one hand we have people earning more than Rs 10 lakh every day and on the other hand millions are struggling to ensure two square meals for themselves and their families," he said.

"But the government seems to be driven by strange ideas. It has proposed to raise revenue by imposing excise tax on petty goldsmiths who make a modest living by manufacturing non-expensive jewellery and that too on a very small scale without much infrastructure," Joshi said.

"Perhaps, the next step of the government would be to clamp excise duty on vendors dealing in fruits and vegetables," he said.

He also questioned the Centre's water policy, claiming it "moved in the direction of treating water as a commodity, something unheard of in any part of the world."

"It is yet another example of the flawed vision of the government, which allows manufacturers of aerated drinks to waste huge volumes of water even as poor villagers living in the vicinity of the manufacturing plants do not get enough to drink and take bath," he said.


First Published: Saturday, March 24, 2012, 22:32

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