Sparking another controversy, Uttar Pradesh Minister Azam Khan has said the Paris terror attack could be a “reaction” to the “killing of innocents” in Arab countries by the “superpowers”, setting of demands by Congress today that he be sacked.
As the remark by Azam came in for attack including from the BJP, French Ambassador to India Francois Richier said he was “saddened” by it. The BJP demanded that the Samajwadi Party(SP) take action against Khan.
Khan, a senior SP leader, condemned the Paris carnage in which at least 129 people were killed but in the same breath raked up the issue of action by the US and Russia in Arab countries, saying “killing of innocents” anywhere is “not justified”.
“Whatever the terrorists did in Paris was wrong. But, attack on Arab countries and killing of innocents there by US and Russia is also not justified,” he told reporters in Sambhal.
“We need to look who killed whom first, after that who retaliated. This is a debatable issue. You strike bombs through drones to kill the inncocent…. History will decide who is a terrorist and who is wrong,” Khan said last evening.
The SP leader further said, “If this attack is a reaction than the superpowers must think about it. What action led to this reaction and whether their action was justified? They need to think otherwise there is apprehension that the situation will get worse. I think the world is heading towards another World War.”
Under fire for his remark, Khan today claimed that he has been misinterpreted.
“I never used these words. They are words used by TV channels for TRPs, not mine. I had condemned the Paris attack in the strongest terms,” he said.
Congress’ senior spokesperson Ajay Maken said the SP leader gives himself “tough competition in making senseless remarks again and again.”
Maken demanded Khan’s immediate removal from the ministry, saying this was not for the first time he has made controversial comments.
BJP demanded action against Khan and dared SP leadership to make public its stand, saying it would otherwise be construed that it supports terrorism.
BJP Secretary Siddharth Nath Singh said UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav “should stop Azam Khan from making such remarks.”
Terming as “unfortunate” the comments, Singh said such remarks tarnish India’s image and weaken the country’s resolve to fight against terrorism.
BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said, “The language used by leaders like Azam Khan is not acceptable. It is unfortunate. IS has become the enemy of Islam. Acts of IS have shamed the Muslims world over. Time has come for the people to eliminate IS and its philosophy.”
BJP’s UP unit president Lakshmikant Bajpai demanded that action be initiated against Khan and only then will it emerge that the SP government is not giving protection to him.
Responding to a question on Khan’s remarks, Akhilesh said he has not heard the comments but there was a possibility that they have been taken out of context.
Asked about the BJP attack on him, Khan claimed he was being targeted because he was a Muslim.