PAKISTAN’S SINISTER PLOY WON’T WORK
There are perhaps two ways of looking at Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s repeated remarks about the plight of minorities in India. One is that following actor Naseeruddin Shah’s comment in December, Imran really believes that Muslims in India face discrimination similar to that faced by minorities in Pakistan. In an interview, Shah, expressing concern over the lynch mobs attacking Muslims suspected of being cattle smugglers, remarked: “I feel anxious for my children because tomorrow if a mob surrounds them and asks, ‘Are you a Hindu or a Muslim?’ they will have no answer.”
Days later, addressing a rally to mark 100 days of his government, Imran said that he would ensure that minorities would feel safe and protected in his “New Pakistan” and that “we will show the Modi government how to treat minorities.” The statement provoked outrage across India, with AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi noting that “India didn’t need to learn about ‘inclusiveness’ from Pakistan.” But when Imran repeated the remark on Saturday at Nankana Sahib, where Guru Nanak, the first Sikh Guru was born, his motives appeared far more sinister and calculated. “We will ensure minorities in Pakistan are treated as equal citizens with all rights and privileges unlike how the Muslims are being treated in India as second-class citizens,” PTV quoted him as saying.
Widely known as a puppet of the military, Imran is unlikely to have said this without a wink and nod from GHQ in Rawalpindi. However, if he and his masters believe loaded remarks like these will lead to unease among Muslims in India just before the general elections, they are likely to be disappointed. Describing it as an “egregious insult to all citizens of India,” the MEA statement added that “the Pakistan Prime Minister’s latest attempts to play with minority sentiment in India will be rejected by the people of India.” Imran would do well to remember that old adage which says that when you point a finger at someone, four of your other fingers are pointing right back at you.