Govt: Pak PM re­mark on mi­nori­ties an in­sult

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - NATION -

NEW DELHI: In­dia on Satur­day re­jected Pak­istan Prime Min­is­ter Im­ran Khan’s re­marks that mem­bers of In­dian mi­nori­ties are treated like “sec­ond class cit­i­zens”, say­ing they were an “egre­gious in­sult” to all In­di­ans.

Ad­dress­ing a cer­e­mony, Khan said his gov­ern­ment would en­sure equal sta­tus and rights to mi­nori­ties in Pak­istan, and would not al­low them to be treated as “sec­ond class cit­i­zens” like mi­nori­ties of In­dia. Re­spond­ing to queries on Khan’s re­marks, ex­ter­nal af­fairs min­istry spokesper­son Raveesh Ku­mar said: “Pak­istan PM’S re­marks are an egre­gious in­sult to all cit­i­zens of In­dia.”

Ku­mar said Khan “has yet again demon­strated his lack of un­der­stand­ing about In­dia’s sec­u­lar polity and ethos”. He added Khan “over­looks the ob­vi­ous fact that ad­her­ents of all faiths choose to live un­der the demo­cratic polity and the pro­gres­sive Con­sti­tu­tion of In­dia. In­dia has em­i­nent lead­ers of all faiths who oc­cupy its high­est con­sti­tu­tional and of­fi­cial po­si­tions. In con­trast, Pak­istani cit­i­zens of non-is­lamic faith are barred from oc­cu­py­ing high con­sti­tu­tional of­fices. The mi­nori­ties are of­ten turned away from gov­ern­ment bod­ies like the Eco­nomic Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil of their Prime Min­is­ter, even in ‘naya Pak­istan’,” he said.

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