The premier urges world community to take notice of attacks on Muslims in neighboring India
Pakistan’s minorities are equal citizens of the country and there will be no tolerance for anyone found targeting them on the basis of their faith, Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Wednesday.
In a series of posts on Twitter reacting to the ongoing unrest in neighboring India over a controversial citizenship law, Pakistan’s premier issued a stern warning to anyone trying to take advantage of the situation. “I want to warn our people that anyone in Pakistan targeting our non-Muslim citizens or their places of worship will be dealt with strictly,” he said. “Our minorities are equal citizens of this country,” he added.
In an earlier post, Khan noted that the violence in Indian capital New Delhi, which has resulted in hundreds of injuries and over 20 people killed in the past two days, was the result of a “Nazi-inspired” ideology. “Today in India we are seeing the Nazi-inspired RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh] ideology take over a nuclear-armed state of over a billion people,” he said. “Whenever a racist ideology based on hatred takes over, it leads to bloodshed.”
Khan claimed he had predicted this very situation during an address to the United Nations last year in which he had warned the global community that the actions taken by Narendra Modi’s government against religious minorities risked engulfing all of South Asia.
“As I had predicted in my address to U.N. General Assembly last year, once the genie is out of the bottle the bloodshed will get worse,” he said. “IOJK [India-Occupied Jammu and Kashmir] was the beginning. Now 200 million Muslims in India are being targeted. The world community must act now,” he added.
Protests against the Citizenship Amendment Bill broke out across India roughly two months ago, with critics of the controversial law saying it risked further eroding the secularism enshrined in the country’s constitution. Under the law, non-Muslim migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan would find it easier to secure citizenship in India. Modi’s government claims this is to protect religious minorities in those countries, but critics maintain that by setting religion as a prerequisite for nationality, Delhi is deliberately targeting Muslims both within and outside its territory.
The protests in Delhi broke out as U.S. President Donald Trump was visiting India on the invitation of Modi. Ironically, while the protests were raging, Trump was praising India’s history of religious tolerance mere miles from the site of the worst of the communal violence.