Pakistan’s televangelist-turned-politician Aamir Liaquat Husain was forced to apologise for his disrespectful act of using the image of a Hindu deity to mock Maryam Nawaz, the opposition leader in Pakistan.
According to the reports, Aamir Liaquat Hussain, a member of the National Assembly from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, stoked a controversy after his stunning display of bigotry. He tweeted an image of a Hindu deity to target Maryam Nawaz, the daughter of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
The derogatory tweet targeting Hindus came as a response to an earlier statement made by Maryam, who had warned the Pakistan government against ‘seeing a different Maryam’ if they attempted to steal the vote in a by-election. In an attempt to take a dig at Maryam Nawaz, Hussain posted the image on Twitter likening it to Maryam’s different version.
Following his tweet, he faced flak from the Hindu community, civil society, and other Pakistan politicians.
Hindu leaders, Pakistani politicians condemn Aamir Husain for his anti-Hindu tweet
Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, the chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council and also PTI’s representative from Tharparkar in Sindh province, criticised Hussain’s tweet as a “shameful act”.
“Strongly condemned this shameful act by someone who claims to be a religious scholar also but doesn’t know respect to other religions. Delete this tweet immediately otherwise we reserve right to demand strict action under the Blasphemy Act and protest across the country,” he wrote on Twitter.
Strongly condemned this shameful act by someone who claims to be a religious scholar also but doesn’t know respect to other religions. Delete this tweet immediately otherwise we reserve right to demand strict action under the Blasphemy Act and protest across the country. https://t.co/yWgK8W19DM— Dr. Ramesh Vankwani (@RVankwani) February 24, 2021
He said the TV host’s post had not only hurt the sentiments of Hindus across the country but also created resentment among supporters of the ruling party who admired party chief and Prime Minister Imran Khan and believed in the party’s manifesto regarding protecting the rights of religious minorities, which is frankly, a joke in itself.
Lal Malhi, another party leader from the Hindu community and PTI MNA from Umerkot, also criticised Hussain and asked Prime Minister Khan to take notice of his illogical act. He added that the tweet, in fact, exposed Husain’s “second version”.
Strongly condemn the blasphemous act of @AamirLiaquat and appeal @ImranKhanPTI to take notice of this immoral act. No religion including Islam permits him to do such illogical acts. This act exposes #دوسراروپ of amir liaquat . pic.twitter.com/1MM4XarPfx— LAL MALHI (@LALMALHI) February 24, 2021
“Strongly condemn the blasphemous act of @AamirLiaquat and appeal @ImranKhanPTI to take notice of this immoral act. No religion, including Islam, permits him to do such illogical acts,” he said.
According to a report from Pakistan’s Dawn, PTI MNA and Hindu leader Jai Parkash criticised the fellow lawmaker and asked him to apologise for his shameful act.
PPP MPA from Tharparkar Surendar Valasai alleged that PTI lawmakers like Husain had “lost their mental balance” and were using insulting language against “weaker” communities. He demanded an unconditional apology and warned of protests if Husain failed to apologise.
“We the lawmakers must try to respect the sentiments of people before tweeting or issuing statements as far as the religiosity of the people is concerned,” he stated.
Hindu Rights activist Kapil Dev also attacked Husain on Twitter and requested Prime Minister Imran Khan to act against PTI lawmaker. “Hindus are abused and their religious sentiments are hurt even by those sitting in the parliaments,” he said.
Aamir Husain deletes the tweet, apologises to Hindus
Following the backlash, PTI leader Hussain later deleted his tweet and tweeted an apology to the Hindu community.
ہندو کمیونٹی کے جذبات مجروح ہوئے معافی کا خواست گار ہوں مقصد ہر گز ایسا نہیں تھا, ٹوئٹ ہٹا دیا ہے, میں تمام مذاہب کی عزت کرتا ہوں یہی میرے دین کی تعلیمات ہیں , ایک بار پھر معذدت— Aamir Liaquat Husain (@AamirLiaquat) February 24, 2021
“I know the sentiments of the Hindu community were hurt. I respect all faiths, this is what my religion has taught me,” he added.