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As Pakistan descends into chaos, netizens share 2009 tweet of PM Modi: Here is what happened back then which made Modi tweet about Pakistan

In 2009, Taliban had also secured control of the Swat Valley region and subjected Hindus and Sikhs to all sorts of discrimination including the imposition of Jaziya and persecution for failing to pay the tax.

As protests erupted in Pakistan after the former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Imran Khan was arrested, an old tweet of Prime Minister Narendra Modi about Pakistan is going viral with Indian netizens reacting to it. 

“Brothers and sisters, you’ll must be watching the news coming out from Pakistan on television,” Narendra Modi tweeted on 4th May in 2009. 

The viral tweet sparked speculation regarding what was the “news” coming out from Pakistan. To find this out, OpIndia checked the Twitter timeline of PM Modi and found some tweets posted minutes after the viral one.

In another tweet posted by the then chief minister of Gujarat on the same day, he had asked for proof from the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh if his government was not weak.

“I wish to ask the Prime Minister, are you not weak? If indeed you are a strong government, the country needs proof of that,” Modi tweeted.

Back then Modi raised the issue of the persecution of Pakistani Sikhs by the Talibani terrorists as is evident from this tweet, “The Taliban is persecuting my Sikh brothers, is destroying Gurudwaras, the persecution that Guru Gobind Singh had borne,” in continuation to this, Modi wrote another tweet which read, “that persecution is once again being inflicted by the Taliban on Pakistan’s soil. Prime Minister, tell me what has your government done?”

To understand the background, it is necessary to first learn about the events in Pakistan that prompted Modi to post these tweets at that time 14 years ago.

Taliban forced Hindus and Sikhs to pay the ‘Jaziya’ tax

Back in 2009, the Taliban wanted to impose Islamic Sharia law across Pakistan and collect Jaziya, an Islamic tax collected from non-Muslims. Jaziya was a tax imposed even in India during the reign of Islamic tyrants like Aurangzeb. In February of the year 2009, the Taliban and Pakistan’s local administration struck a controversial ‘peace deal’ to achieve a permanent ceasefire in the restive north-western Swat Valley. As per the ‘deal’, the provincial government had offered to reinstate Sharia law in Malakand in the Taliban agreed to a ceasefire. 

The deal could not last long as the Taliban attacked a Pakistan army convoy in Swat Valley. The Talibani terrorists had also entered the Buner district to impose Islamic Sharia law. Following this, the Pakistan Army in May had launched an operation against the Taliban and killed around 80 Talibani terrorists in the Buner area. Talibanis had captured over 2000 villagers to use them as human shields against army attacks. Moreover, the Taliban had rejected the setting up of a Sharia-compliant appellate court by the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) government citing it as a unilateral decision by the government.

Taliban had also secured control of the Swat Valley region and subjected Hindus and Sikhs to all sorts of discrimination including the imposition of Jaziya and persecution for failing to pay the tax.

In 2009, over 150 Hindu and Sikh families In NFWP and nearby tribal areas were compelled to leave their homes and take shelter in Pakistan’s Punjab amidst targeted attacks by Taliban terrorists. “So far, over 150 Sikh and Hindu families have arrived at Gurdwara Panja Sahib in Hasan Abdal and Rawalpindi from places like Buner, Swat, and Aurakzai Agency,” Evacuee Trust Property Board Chairman Asif Hashmi had said back then. 

It was also reported that 11 homes of the Pakistani Sikhs Aurakzai tribal agency were destroyed by Talibani terrorists on failing to pay the Jaziya. The Taliban had imposed a deadline of April 29, 2009, to pay the tax imposed on ‘Kafirs’. Taliban had directed Sikhs to pay Rs 50 million per year as ‘protection money’.

Although the Congress-led Indian government had verbally demarched Pakistan its concerns about the discriminatory treatment meted out to non-Muslims in Pakistan, no other stringent action was taken. Pakistan in its standard response dismissed India’s concerns saying that Sikhs in the Aurakzai agency are Pakistani citizens so it should not be a concern for India.

Raising the issue of the persecution of Pakistani Sikhs, Narendra Modi had posted the aforementioned tweets and on the same day (May 4, 2009) he said during a rally in Haryana that being a Sikh himself, the then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh should have done something to safeguard the interests of Sikhs in Pakistan. 

“He remained mum over the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai. But now, he should make his stand clear on the atrocities being inflicted on Sikhs in Pakistan, not only as a prime minister but also as a Sikh,” Modi said.

While Narendra Modi was referring to the attack of the Taliban in Pakistan, another incident had happened in Pakistan at that time. Former prime minister Imran Khan, when he was an opposition leader, was barred from entering Karachi by the govt amid ethnic violence in the city. He was off-loaded from a Karachi-bound flight at the airport in Lahore.

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