The Ministry of External Affairs on Saturday responded sharply to the remarks made by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan about minorities in India, calling Khan’s remarks as an “egregious insult to all citizens of India.”
“The Pakistan Prime Minister’s remarks are an egregious insult to all citizens of India. Pakistan prime minister has demonstrated his lack of understanding about India’s secular polity and ethos,” the MEA said in a strongly-worded statement.
“India has leaders of all faiths who occupy its highest Constitutional and official positions. Pakistani citizens of non-Islamic faith are barred from occupying high Constitutional offices. Minorities are often turned away from government bodies like their PMEAC, even in naya Pakistan,” the ministry added.
MEA’s reaction comes after PTV News quoted Khan as saying: “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.”
This is the second instance when Khan has spoken about the condition of minorities in the two neighbouring countries. The Pakistani PM had earlier issued a similar statement saying that he will make sure that in his country minorities are treated as equal citizens “unlike what is happening in India”. “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 added.
Khan had previously also accused the BJP of having “anti-muslim” sentiments. “India has elections coming up. The ruling party has an anti-Muslim, anti-Pakistan approach. They rebuffed all my overtures,” Khan said in an interview to The Washinton Post.