Pakistan on Wednesday rejected the ‘gratuitous remarks’ of Indian External Affairs Ministry on the incident involving statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, saying it was highly hypocritical of a country which was purveyor of state-sponsored discrimination. “It is highly hypocritical of a country that is purveyor of state-sponsored discrimination against its minorities to pontificate on the issue of minority rights elsewhere,” the Foreign Office said in a statement. The Foreign Office said, “A mature state would have appreciated the immediate arrest of the accused against whom strict legal action has already been initiated”. It said the government, legislature, judiciary, civil society and the media in Pakistan always worked for ensuring constitutional protections for members of minorities as equal citizens and their places of worship, whereas in India incidents against minorities was taking place with state complicity. Rather than feigning concern for minorities elsewhere, India should seriously introspect, move away from entrenched anti-minority mindset being destructively spawned by the RSS-BJP regime, and discard state-sponsored discriminatory policies,” it said. The FO urged upon India to ensure safety, protection and well-being of the minorities including Muslims, and take effective steps for the protection of their places of worship, culture and heritage sites. It is worth mentioning here that a video of a man destroying the statue of 18th-century Sikh ruler Ranjit Singh with his bare hands at the Lahore Fort went viral earlier on Tuesday. The video showing a young man destroying the statue was reportedly the third time the statue has been vandalised since 2019. The suspect has been taken into custody by the Lahore police, police said.