ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will launch a worldwide campaign to get India’s Shiv Sena declared a terrorist outfit citing its recent attacks on the minority Muslim community in the world’s largest democracy. Shiv Sena – a Hindu extremist group – has been harassing the minorities living in India and threatening its secular face. The group, a partner of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, is headed by founder Bal Thackeray’s son, Uddhav Thackeray. Members of Shiv Sena are referred to as Shivsainiks.

Although the party’s primary base is still in Maharashtra, it has tried to expand to a pan-Indian base. In the 1970s, it gradually moved from advocating a pro-Marathi ideology to one supporting a broader Hindu nationalist agenda as it aligned itself with the BJP. The party has a powerful hold over the multi-billion Bollywood film industry. It has been referred to as an extremist, chauvinist, as well as a fascist party. It has been seen by some as a terror group and blamed for the 1970 communal violence, 1984 Bhiwandi riots, and violence in the 1992-1993 Bombay riots. A senior foreign ministry official said the Shiv Sena has crossed ‘all the limits’ and Pakistan will take its case to the world.

“They have been disgracing our leaders, our country and our artists. They have been attempting to crush the Muslims in India itself. This needs world attention. If outfits in Pakistan can be banned for terrorism, why not those in India,” he told The Nation. The official said Pakistan has already given evidences of Indian involvement in terrorism and the hostile attitude of Shiv Sena will not be put before the world powers. He said India has been defaming Pakistan at all international forums and Islamabad will pay back in the same coin.

During Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s just concluded visit to the United States, Washington clearly showed its tilt towards India as it pushed Islamabad to ‘do more’ in the fight against terrorism and denied an ‘India-type’ civil nuclear deal. Sharif did try his bit to expose India as a terror-sponsoring nation, but President Barrack Obama was concerned more with the resurgence of Taliban in Afghanistan, terrorism in Pakistan and reducing Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile.

The only good thing coming from the visit was Washington’s support for democracy and desire for dialogue between Pakistan and India. The Pakistan People’s Party has also moved the parliament to protest against the Shiv Sena’s highhandedness. The party has submitted a resolution in Parliament seeking to declare Shiva Sena an international terrorist outfit. PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan was to meet president of Board of Control for Cricket in India, Shashank Manohar, earlier this week, but the meeting was delayed after Shiv Sena workers stormed and surrounded the board’s Mumbai office.

“Sena activists crashed through the gates of the office in Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium that serves as the headquarters of the BCCI,” according to a report. The protesters entered Manohar’s office and shouted slogans against him. Shiv Sena also stopped Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar from officiating in the fifth and final One-Day International match between India and South Africa. Earlier, when former foreign minister, Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri visited India for a peaceful event of the inauguration of his book, Shiv Sena activists attacked the host of that event and threw black paint on him. PPP legislator Shazia Marri said Shiv Sena was attempting to sabotage all peace efforts between Pakistan and India. Senior analyst Dr Riffat Hussain said the fundamentalist forces have flourished in India in the last ten years.

He said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a special grudge with Muslims. “He was involved in the killing of innocent Muslims in Indian state Gujrat. The recent events are not new. Indian history is full of such incidents of humiliating minorities and foreigners,” Hussain added. Defence analyst Dr Pervez Iqbal Cheema said India presented itself as the largest democracy of the world but the recent events totally rejected this claim and have destroyed its image at the international level. “It is a habit of India to show its hatred against Pakistanis as they dugout the cricket pitch in their ground to stop Pakistan-India cricket series in 2003. Pakistan always tries to maintain friendly relations with India on state level as well as in people to people contact but India never replies in a same tune,” he said.