New Delhi: Amid ongoing controversy over Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah’s remarks on mob violence in India, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said that he will show the Narendra Modi government “how to treat minorities”.
Pakistan PM Imran Khan said while addressing an event to highlight the 100-day achievements of the Punjab government in Lahore. “We will show the Modi government how to treat minorities…Even in India, people are saying that minorities are not being treated as equal citizens,” he said referring to Shah’s statement.
His reaction came at a time when Shah is facing criticism for his remarks on the spate of mob lynching cases in India following the killing of a policeman in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr district earlier this month. (ALSO READ: I Only Spoke The Truth: Naseeruddin Shah Defends Statement on Intolerance)
Recently, a video was released in which Shah had said that the djinn of intolerance was now out and there was no way of putting it back in the bottle. He said the poison is all-pervasive and now everyone has the freedom to go right ahead and do as they please.
Pakistan PM also asserted that his government is taking steps to ensure that religious minorities in Pakistan get their due rights, which was also a vision of the country’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Khan said his government will make it sure that the minorities feel safe, protected and have equal rights in ‘New Pakistan’.
In a video interview with Karwan-e-Mohabbat India, the veteran actor said the death of a cow was being given importance over the killing of a policeman in India. He said the “poison has already spread” and it will be now difficult to contain it.
“It will be very difficult to capture this djinn back into the bottle again. There is complete impunity for those who take law into their own hands…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. It worries me that I don’t see the situation improving anytime soon,” Shah added.
Shah’s outburst had invited angry comments. A user commented on the YouTube video shared by Karwan-e-Mohabbat India, a travelling activist collective that is focused on highlighting and combating instances of hate crimes and mob lynching, saying “I think Gulfam Hasan’s character played by him in ‘Sarfarosh’ is actually his real character. Anti-Indian elements are using social media very shrewdly.”
The comment was in reference to his character in the 1998 action-drama “Sarfarosh” in which he played a Pakistani singer who aids cross-border terrorism.
The Pakistani premier said if justice is not given to the weak then it will only lead to an uprising.
Giving an example, he said, “The people of East Pakistan were not given their rights which were the main reason behind the creation of Bangladesh.”
On December 3, Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and a student, Sumit Kumar, were killed in mob violence in Bulandshahr after cow carcasses were found strewn around.
(With PTI inputs)