HOURS AFTER Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said that India treated minorities as ‘second-class citizens’, the Indian government replied saying that Khan’s remarks are an “egregious insult to all citizens of India.”
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Saturday responded sharply to the remarks made by the Pakistani PM.
“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’s official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
“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,” Kumar said.
This was in reference to how Atif Mian, a noted economist in Pakistan, was removed from Pakistan PM’s Economic Advisory Council since he was from minority Ahmadiyya sect after pressure from the right-wing groups.
“Pakistan would do well to focus on its domestic challenges and improve conditions of its citizens rather than try and divert attention. The Pakistan Prime Minister’s latest attempts to play with minority sentiment in India will be rejected by the people of India,” the MEA spokesperson said.
This is the second instance when Khan has spoken about the condition of minorities in India.
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”.