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Modi’s India is an ‘Extremist’ State: Awan

by Newsweek Pakistan

Courtesy PID

Special Assistant to P.M. on Information says Quaid-e-Azam’s ‘two-nation theory’ has been validated by Delhi’s policy decisions

India under incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi has become an “extremist” state, said Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan on Sunday.

Addressing a press conference in Sialkot, Awan said the desire of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government to impose its brand of Hindutva across India was now visible to the world. “His [Modi] extremist policies have tarnished India’s status as a secular state,” she said. “His ideology is based on radicalism and extremist that has even been rejected by Indians,” she added, referring to ongoing protests across India over a controversial citizenship law that is widely seen as discriminating against Muslims.

Awan said Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s Two-Nation Theory had been validated by the policy decisions implemented by the Indian government in the past year. A founding principle of Pakistan, the Two-Nation Theory states that Muslims and Hindus are two separate nations and should not be bound to exist in the same homeland.

According to Awan, Modi’s treatment of minorities has prompted nationwide protests and increasingly violent unrest. She claimed that Pakistan’s “good treatment” of minorities had won the hearts of the Indian people. This statement does not appear entirely accurate at first glance: Pakistan continues to be on a religious freedoms watchlist maintained by the U.S., while a U.N. panel earlier this year also slammed its ongoing use of the blasphemy laws as a means of discriminating against non-Muslims.

The de facto information minister, during her press interaction, also claimed that India was trying to distract global attention from its internal conflicts by spreading misinformation online and launching unprovoked shelling on the civilian population along the Line of Control dividing Kashmir between Pakistan and India. “The Pakistan Army is responding to the enemy’s aggression in a befitting manner,” she said. “The people of Pakistan stand behind the Army. Our media is showing the true picture of what is currently going on at the border,” she added.

Commenting on a special court’s ruling of a death sentence for former Army chief Pervez Musharraf, Awan questioned the Sharif family’s silence over the verdict. “The Nawaz Sharif government filed the high treason case against Pervez Musharraf in 2013, but his silence after the former Army chief’s conviction clearly suggests the Sharifs are in politics for personal gain,” she claimed.

Awan alleged the entire Sharif family was now confused about their public stance on this issue. She claimed the party leadership had abandoned its workers.

Reacting to recent speeches of Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Awan said the opposition lawmaker should first introduce democracy to his party before seeking “genuine” democracy in Pakistan. She reiterated her earlier claims that those who had plundered the country’s wealth were now posing as the people’s representatives. “The PPP leadership remembers Benazir Bhutto only on her death anniversary or ahead of elections to get votes,” she added. Awan had served as information minister during the PPP’s government from 2011-2012.

Awan said the opposition continued to denounce democracy under Prime Minister Imran Khan solely because it was not the type of democracy they wanted. “The prime minister is not in favor of the type of democracy where you worry about the wellbeing of your own children and not that of the nation’s children. Your own conduct is undemocratic. You should bring democracy to your own province,” she added to the PPP, which rules in Sindh province.

“Imran Khan is the nation’s savior. He will make the country stand on its own feet,” she added.

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