Pakistan on Sunday strongly condemned the arbitrary arrests and illegal detention of prominent Islamic scholars, including Maulana Abdul Rasheed Dawoodi, Maulana Mushtaq Ahmed Veeri, and five members of Jamaat-e-Islami, in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). “These deplorable actions only days ahead of the UN General Assembly session manifest India’s growing intransigence, and utter disregard of human rights and fundamental freedoms,” the Foreign Office spokesperson said in a statement. Pakistan also called for immediate release of these religious scholars and all other Kashmiri prisoners illegally detained by India. “The illegal detention of the Kashmiri Islamic scholars while the true representatives of the Kashmiri people are already under Indian custody under fictitious cases and on fallacious grounds is yet another Indian attempt to rob the Kashmiri people of their distinct religious and cultural identity,” the statement read. The statement termed the detentions reprehensible, further stating that the arrests under the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA), which defies all international humanitarian laws and permits preventive detention for two long years without the need for any trial, is a deplorable preemptive step by the Indian authorities, planning to illegally occupy the religiously significant ‘Waqf Board’ properties. The statement highlighted that the scholars have not only been unjustifiably arrested, but shifted from Kashmir to a prison in the Hindu-majority Jammu under the Indian apprehensions of widespread protests and unrest in the face of such a malicious move. “These politically-motivated arrests are clearly meant to stifle the voice of the Muslims of IIOJK and further marginalise them,” the FO said. The FO called on India for the immediate release of these religious scholars and all other Kashmiri prisoners illegally detained by India. It also urged the international community to take note of the dangerously growing trajectory of Islamophobia in India, instigated at the behest of the BJP-RSS nexus that is aimed at suppressing the Muslims of India, denying them space to freely practice their faith and attacking their places of worship.