ISLAMABAD, Jan 6 (APP): Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday said the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) inspired ruling party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been implementing a pogrom against the Muslims and all other minorities in India, and Illegally Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
In an exclusive interview with ‘a News’, 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.
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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 IIOJK 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 IIOJK. 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, the UNSC had recently taken up the issue for three times, “but sadly nothing is happening”.
He 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 recognize that country. Different countries had their own foreign policies.
He said the situation in the IIOJK was similar to that in Palestine. The founding father Quaid-e-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 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 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 incidence’.
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.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, to a question regarding growing issue of Islamophobia in the West, said he was more aware of the issue than any other Muslim leader because he spent most of his life in the United Kingdom.
He said he saw the issue evolving in the West and cited Salman Rushdie, who had written a sacrilegious book to further stir the issue.
“The West cannot understand our affiliation, reverence and love with our Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him),” he said, adding there existed a big gap in the understanding between the Muslims living in the West and the Western people.
The prime minister said he had explained at the UN and other global fora that under the garb of freedom of speech, they could not desecrate the Holy Quran or Holy Prophet (PBUH) as certain acts always led to reaction.
About solution to the issue, Imran Khan opined that the Muslim heads or leaders should stress upon the world to understand as how much the Muslim world had reverence and love for their Holy Prophet (PBUH).
The West should not use the freedom of speech as garb to hurt religious sentiments of the Muslims. “Holy Prophet (PBUH) lives in our heart and this pain of heart is much more than physical pain because it causes immense pain,” he added.
Elaborating his point further, the prime minister referred to issue of Holocaust and said as any interpretation to it was regarded as an offence in the West and amounted to causing pains to the Jewish community.
The prime minister, to a query, said France had not been properly handling the issue of Islamophobia as the French government had not distinguished between the acts of terrorism and religion. It would be a huge disservice to their society.
He cautioned that it could have long term consequences which might be the worst. “When you say Islamic radicalism or Islamic extremism, the Muslim communities in the West come under suspicion,” he added.
“If you hurt them, there may be a section in the society who will react. A vicious circle is going on in France where the Muslims were put in ghettos and under siege,” he added
Imran Khan said there were no two Islams, there was only one Islam as preached by the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
A white man walked inside a mosque in New Zealand and killed the Muslims worshippers but no one called it a Christian terrorism, he added.
About the statement of French President Macron, the prime minster said it was ridiculous so he had responded to that.
“They are actually exacerbating the Islamophobia,” he added.
About the Covid-9 pandemic, the prime minister said it had pushed a large number of people into poverty, hurting the poor segments and the countries very hard.
The countries had been trying to balance their budgets and tread upon a thin line, he said, noting that lockdowns, unfortunately, had rendered huge number of people jobless.
Imran Khan said during the pandemic, his government had given a stimulus package of $8 billion with meagre resources when compared with the resource rich countries like the US, which had rolled out $2 trillion and $800 billion stimulus package.
The pandemic had played havoc with all sectors throughout the world, in Sri Lanka and Egypt, the tourism sector was hit hard, he added.
In the northern areas of Pakistan, the prime minister said, the tourism sector and hotel industry were badly affected.
To a question, he said the situation in Pakistan was different from that emerging in China and the US, and now as had been unfolding in Europe.
Those were the rich countries. In Pakistan, they could not impose a complete lockdown like in the UK and other Western countries right now, as they had a large number of workforce, about 80 per cent working in the undocumented economy.
Pakistan did not have the resources to feed those families on daily basis as there was no social security system, he maintained.
The prime minister said his decision of smart lockdown not only contained the spread of virus but also kept the economy opened. “Actually, it becomes successful.”
Only the province of Sindh, which was headed by an opposition party, imposed complete lockdown which gave rise to serious issues.
He said the construction sector was kept opened which helped the economy moving.
The prime minister referred to situation in India which imposed a complete lockdown over the poor and hungry people resulting in the backlash.
About the Covid vaccination, the prime minister said they had been in touch with China to start vaccination.
The vulnerable section of society, including doctors, medical staff and health workers would first get the jab.
Lauding the role of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister said under his leadership, Turkey became a formidable country and a force.
He said the ties between Pakistan and Turkey were based upon historical background and there were historical linkages between the two brotherly countries.
The prime minister mentioned Turkey’s support and help over the issue of Kashmir, and while expressing his gratitude, he said President Erdogan came forward like Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia to denounce Indian illegal acts of August 5, 2019 on the IIOJK.