Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Thursday hit back at Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for his remarks on the treatment of minorities in India, saying all Indians are secure and he should worry about the people of his country.
Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Thursday hit back at Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for his remarks on the treatment of minorities in India, saying all Indians are secure and he should worry about the people of his country. Naqvi’s sharp reaction came after Khan for the second time within a week on Tuesday compared the treatment of minorities in his country and India, saying “‘Naya Pakistan’ is Quaid’s (Jinnah) Pakistan and will ensure that our minorities are treated as equal citizens, unlike what is happening in India”.
Slamming Khan for his remarks, Naqvi said that talking about minorities from an “unsecular country”, where there have been dictatorships mostly and fanatic forces have run parallel governments, is only laughable. “It would be better that he worries about the people of his own country. In our country, everybody is safe and secure, and making progress. Our Constitution is the guarantee of their safety and security. Tolerance is in the DNA of India and Indians,” the Minority Affairs Minister told PTI when asked about Khan’s comments. Earlier on Saturday, Khan had said he will “show” the Modi government “how to treat minorities”, amidst a controversy over Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah’s remarks on mob violence in India.
Asked about concerns being raised over intolerance, Naqvi said, “India is the most tolerant country. Every section of the society, including the minorities, are safe. They are constitutionally safe and their religious rights are also safe. In all fields, minorities are making progress at a fast pace.”
On Naseeruddin Shah’s remarks, the minister said that probably the actor meant something else and it was understood in another manner. However, Naqvi cautioned that such a “sweeping” or “loose statement” can be used by anti-India forces. “So, we should avoid such things,” he added. Naqvi attacked the Pakistan prime minister alleging the cricketer-turned-politician has little knowledge of history. ”
After 1947, the population of minorities there (Pakistan) was about 23 per cent. Then after the creation of Bangladesh, the population of minorities in Pakistan would have been around 16 per cent. Now that population of minorities there is 1.2 per cent,” Naqvi said. He alleged that the minorities in Pakistan, be it Christians, Hindus, Sikhs or Buddhists, were either massacred, forcefully converted, or they had to flee. In India, the picture is completely opposite and minority population has increased over the years, Naqvi said.
“When Mr Khan sees his country’s history, he will have to see that whether a Zakir Hussain was born there, whether there was a Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, or an APJ Abdul Kalam,” he said. Targeting Khan, Naqvi also named a number of popular Indian artistes, including Yusuf Khan, better known as Dilip Kumar, Aamir Khan and Naseeruddin Shah, noting that generations of Indians have honoured and admired them.