Prime Minister Imran Khan has once again shown his resolve that minorities are equal citizens of this country and government’s job is to protect them. He said this while giving an interview to a Turkish news channel, A News.
In the interview, PM Khan answered questions regarding the ongoing protest in Balochistan, the vandalising of Hindu temple, Islamophobia and ties with Israel.
“One of the worst outcomes of the jihad was sectarianism in Pakistan. So we have been lumbered with this legacy. We had these militant sectarian groups and the Hazara Shia community in Balochistan was targeted by these Sunni extremist groups.
“It was very unfortunate because not just that we had these extremist sectarian groups, and they have morphed with ISIS or Daesh,” he said, referring to the militant Islamic State (ISIS) group which claimed responsibility for the Mach massacre.
PM Khan said he totally understands the pain that the Hazara community is going through as they have been targeted before and the government will not abandon them. Last time when this sort of an incident happened I was in opposition, he further added.
“We will assure them of complete support and protection, I actually went there and then too they didn’t want to bury the dead until there were certain promises given,” he recalled.
While talking about the Karak temple incident the premier said that he is happy with the proactive approach taken by the authorities and assured that this temple will be reconstructed.
“We believe that minorities in Pakistan are equal citizens and the job of the state is to protect them,” he said.
On the topic, PM Imran Khan said that Western countries have again and again failed to understand the sentiments and emotional attachment of the Muslim Ummah towards the Holy Prophet Muhammad.
“I saw the evolution of Islamophobia in Western countries and if I have to put a date on it, it was that awful character Salman Rushdie, he wrote this book which insulted our Holy Prophet (PBUH).
“And since then two things happened: One, in the west they could not understand the reaction of the Muslims when our Holy Prophet was insulted. And because they could not understand it they believed that Islam was against freedom of speech. So they put it on freedom of speech that man can write anything in a book not understanding the love, respect and reverence we have for our Holy Prophet.”
He said that the world community and the United Nations (UN) should come forward and play a positive role in this regard. Mocking religious beliefs and a Holy personality should not be termed as freedom of speech. These kinds of incidents destroy the inter-faith harmony which brings more hatred.
PM Khan said, “They believed that it was deliberately targeting the Muslim community; the fact is that the Western people do not understand, they cannot understand the way we feel for our Prophet because they don’t consider their own holy sacred entities the way we do. In fact, they don’t treat religion like we do, especially in Europe.
“Therefore, this gap of misunderstanding between the two communities, the Muslims living in the Western communities and the Western communities has grown and unfortunately this gap was not addressed.”
Ties with Israel
While answering a question, Imran Khan emphasised that Pakistan’s foreign policy is independent and we will not normalise ties with Israel on the pressure of other Muslim countries.
“Every country has its own foreign policy and interests, doing so would make Pakistan completely lose its moral standing to support the Kashmir cause, and would go against Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s policy of not recognising Israel until the Palestinians were given their own homeland.
Pakistan’s state and people have always taken a firm stance against the atrocities done by Israel against the people of Palestine. He said that, “if anyone in this country who is a democratic leader decides to recognise Israel, he would be going against the will of the people of this country”.
He said no body has or can put pressure on him to recognise Israel.