Pakistani Punjab’s Information Minister Fayyaz-ul Hassan Chohan of the ruling PTI had referred to the Hindu community as “cow urine-drinking people” at a recent press conference, as per IANS.
“We are Muslims and we have a flag, the flag of Maula Ali’s bravery, the flag of Hazrat Umar’s valour. You (Hindus) don’t have that flag, it isn’t in your hands,” he had said.
“Don’t operate under the delusion that you’re seven times better than us. What we have, you can’t have, you idol worshippers,” he had said in a video that went viral on social media.
However his remarks were condemned by Prime Minister Imran Khan and other key political leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) for his insensitivity towards the Hindus, a minority in Pakistan.
Khan had termed Chohan’s remarks “inappropriate” and said, “We will not tolerate remarks against any minority community.”
The minister had then apologised and said his comments were directed only at Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Indian media.
“I was referring to Narendra Modi, RAW and Indian media,” he said on Samaa TV’s programme Naya Din on Tuesday. “The remarks weren’t meant for any person in Pakistan. My message was for Indians.”
“I didn’t demean any religion. The things I said are a part of Hindutva. I said things that are a part of their religion,” he added.
But it seems the statements failed to quell anger. PTI’s leader Naeemul Haque said, as per IANS, “The derogatory and insulting remarks against the Hindu community by Fayyaz Chohan… The PTI government will not tolerate this nonsense from a senior member of the government or from anyone. Action will be taken after consulting the Chief Minister.”
Also Minister of Human Rights Shireen Mazari tweeted, “Absolutely condemn this. No one has the right to attack anyone else’s religion. Our Hindu citizens have given sacrifices for their country.”
“Our Prime Minister’s message is always of tolerance and respect and we cannot condone any form of bigotry or spread of religious hatred,” she added.
Finance Minister Asad Umar had also condemned the remarks. He said, “Hindus of Pakistan are as much a part of the fabric of the nation as I am. Remember the flag of Pakistan is not just green… it is not complete without the white which represents the minorities.”
Following swift developments Chohan of the ruling PTI has been sacked after facing severe criticism from members of his party for making derogatory remarks about Hindus.
The PTI government in Pakistan’s Punjab on Tuesday, 5 March, tweeted that it had “removed Fayyaz Chohan from the post of Punjab Information Minister following derogatory remarks about the Hindu community”.
“Bashing someone’s faith should not be a part of any narrative. Tolerance is the first and foremost pillar on which Pakistan was built,” the party had said.