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January 7, 2021

India’s regime executing pogrom against Muslims, minorities: PM Imran Khan

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January 7, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday said the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) inspired ruling party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and led by Narendra Modi had been implementing a pogrom against the Muslims and all other minorities in India, and Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K).

In an exclusive interview with a Turkish news channel, the prime minister said the RSS was founded during 1920 and its founding fathers had been directly inspired by the Nazi party, and openly admired its racial and extremist policies.

The RSS philosophy, he said, led to racial supremacists as even Mahatama Gandhi was assassinated by an RSS zealot. “But when Modi came to power, he responded to a pogrom against the Muslims as evident from his tenure as chief minister of Gujarat where hundreds of Muslims were killed and made homeless by the fanatic Hindus supremacists,” he added.

The prime minister to a question said contrary to former Indian prime minister Vajpayee who was a moderate, Modi moved on the other way.

“The RSS followers believe that India is the country only for the Hindus to live in. Such a situation is not only dangerous for the Muslims, but also for the whole minorities in India,” he said, tracing back the historical reasons for the RSS-BJP policies against the Muslims and Christians, who had ruled the Sub-Continent.

The prime minister agreed that Modi was responsible for tense ties between the two countries. He said when he came to power, his first move was to immediately improve relations with India. He asked Modi to build on friendship and move forward to find solutions to the issues but unfortunately, he did not respond. Modi’s whole election campaign was based upon whipping up jingoistic and anti-Pakistan sentiments, he observed.

About the IOJ&K issue, the prime minister said the United Nations Security Council resolutions had assured of holding of a free and fair plebiscite paving way for the right of self-determination to the Kashmiri people.

“But India did not allow it to happen, he regretted and maintained that Kashmir had a special status due to those resolutions. Modi’s government got rid of the special status of the disputed territory with its illegal actions of August in last year and now it was subsequently changing the demography of Kashmir,” he added.

The prime minister said India had deployed about 800,000 military personnel in the IOJ&K. There were daily reports about killings of innocent Kashmiris, besides whisking away of their youth. The whole Kashmiri leadership had been in prison or put under house arrest. In these circumstances, he said, the UNSC had recently taken up the issue for three times, "but sadly nothing is happening".

The premier expressed his dismay that the United States and certain Western countries wanted India as their ally to act as a bulwark against China which "is a huge mistake".

About the role of new US administration in the resolution of Kashmir issue, the prime minister said previously he had twice spoken to President Trump, who had offered to meditate but India stonewalled it. They would take up the issue with US president-elect Joe Biden, he added.

“We want the US to become even handed between Pakistan and India,” he said, stressing, "There should be a balance between Pakistan and India, this is what we want from Biden’s administration.”

To another query, he said war had never been an option between the two nuclear armed countries like Pakistan and India.

Pakistan had approached the world fora, including the United Nations over the Kashmir issue, he said, adding they were also mulling to use other forums to fight the case on Kashmir.

The prime minister said, “The Kashmir issue, like the Palestine issue cannot go away, it will go on.”

“Modi had taken extreme steps pushing the Kashmiris to a point that even if today a free and fair election were held in India, even not a single pro-India party would support them over the issue,” he added.

Elaborating his point over Pak-US ties, he said Pakistan had given huge sacrifices for the US during Afghan war. After the war, the US abandoned Pakistan and even imposed sanctions, leaving it with the issue of remnant militant groups. After 9/11, the US asked to take on those groups indoctrinated as Mujahideen in the past by itself. When they turned against the US, they were declared as terrorists, he added.

The prime minister said, “Pakistan had lost 70,000 precious lives in the war against terrorism and the country badly suffered. Pakistan was stuck in the middle and paid huge price.”

Responding to a question regarding Israel, the prime minister categorically reiterated that Pakistan could not recognise that country.

He said different countries had their own foreign policies. He said the situation in the IOJ&K was similar to that in Palestine. “The founding father Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had very clearly laid down the policy linking it with removal of injustices with the Palestinian people and till there is no just settlement," he said.

He made it clear that nobody could exert pressure on him with regard to the issue of Israel.

“Pakistan is a democratic country. The people here have their emotional attachment with the people of Palestine like they have with the Kashmiris. Nobody can go against the will of people,” he added.

About the rights of minorities in Pakistan, Imran Khan said the Quaid’s vision of a state was based upon principles of the State of Madina established by the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). “The Quaid believed that Pakistan should be a welfare state with much emphasis on rule of law, research and meritocracy. The minorities were declared as equal citizens of Pakistan. Nobody was forced into or out of their religions,” he added.

About the recent Hazara community incident, he said it was indeed “an unfortunate incident”.

He said Pakistan inherited a legacy from the 1980s Afghan Jihad, when it participated in the war. The worst outcomes were sectarianism and militancy. Different sects were targeted by the extremist groups. The prime minister assured the Hazara community of complete security and protection. “Minorities (communities) are equal citizens and state’s job is to protect them,” he maintained.

He also referred to incident of Karak and said the government had pledged to rebuild the temple.