The New Indian Express - - EDITORIAL -

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.

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