Actor Naseeruddin Shah’s statement that he is scared for his children’s lives in India now has resonated with the not-so-friendly-neighbour across the border. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has taken it upon himself to show the Modi government ‘how to treat minorities’. Referring to Shah’s statement, Khan said, Mohammad Ali Jinnah had ‘understood’ this and because of this very ‘intolerance’, Pakistan was formed.
A bit rich from the person who is widely known as a terrorist sympathiser. More so from a country where anyone who is not a Muslim is looked down upon as non-believer or a kafir. And not just Hindus or Sikhs, but there has been a regular purging against Muslims of the Ahmadiya faith. In September this year, the Pakistan government dismissed economist because of his Ahmadiya faith.
The minorities in Pakistan have reduced from 23% in 1947 to a mere 3-4% of the population now after militant groups were created to target Shias, Ahmadis, Hindus and Christians. On the other hand, in India, the population of Muslims in India has gone from 9.8% in 1951 census to 14.23% in 2011.
In Pakistan, Christians and Ahmadis have been displaced within the country and have had to either flee the country or seek asylum elsewhere due to lack of protection and constant threat of the draconian blasphemy laws in Pakistan. In fact, historians in Pakistan itself say how declaring itself as ‘Muslim state’ the country sowed the seeds of intolerance by alienating other religions.
And while religious minorities are escaping from Pakistan, the minorities from Bangladesh and Myanmar are illegally migrating to India and want to settle here.
This haughtiness of Imran Khan is not new. Earlier, too, Khan had taken a dig on India’s stand of calling off talks after kidnapping and killing of three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir. Perhaps introspecting and fixing things in their own country first before trying to teach India lessons would do Khan good.