It’s Naya Pakistan, not Modi’s India: Fawad tells Swaraj

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Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and India’s Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj Sunday exchanged words on Twitter over the issue of alleged abduction and forced conversion of two teenage sisters from Sindh’s Ghotki district.

As Swaraj shared on Twitter that she has asked the Indian high commissioner in Pakistan to give her a report on the alleged abduction and forced conversion of the Hindu girls, Fawad responded that unlike Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s India, minorities enjoy equal rights in Naya Pakistan of Prime Minister Imran Khan. He said it is an internal issue of Pakistan where minorities are protected, not like Modi’s India where minorities are subjugated. “Madam it’s Pakistan’s internal issue and rest assured it’s not Modi’s India where minorities are subjugated. It’s Imran Khan’s Naya Pakistan where white color of our flag is equally dearer to us. I hope you will act with same diligence when it comes to rights of Indian minorities.”

Swaraj, addressing the minister, responded that her inquiry for a report on the girls made Chaudhry ‘jittery’. “I only asked for a report from Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad about the kidnapping and forced conversion of two minor Hindu girls to Islam. This was enough to make you jittery. This only shows your guilty conscience,” she tweeted.

Fawad replied he is happy that in Indian administration there are people worried about rights of minorities in other countries. He expressed the hope that her conscience will allow her to stand up for minority rights in India as well, adding that Gujarat and Jammu must weigh heavily on her soul.

“Madam Minister, I am happy that in the Indian administration we have people who care for minority rights in other countries. I sincerely hope that your conscience will allow you to stand up for minorities at home as well. Gujarat and Jammu must weigh heavily on your soul.”

Earlier in a tweet, Fawad had disclosed that Prime Minister Imran Khan has issued directives to Punjab chief minister for taking steps for recovery of two Hindu girls allegedly abducted from Sindh and shifted to Rahim Yar Khan. The minister tweeted that the prime minister asked for holding immediate investigation into the matter. He said the PM directed the governments of Sindh and Punjab to adopt a joint strategy to prevent such incidents in future. Fawad also quoted the prime minister as saying that white colour in Pakistan’s flag represents minorities and protecting their rights was the responsibility of the state.

Later, at a press conference, the minister reiterated that the PTI-led government is ensuring the rights and protection of the country’s minorities, questioning if the Indian government can claim the same. He said the incidents happen all over the world, but what matters is how governments deal with them, giving the example of the recent terror attacks in New Zealand and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who has been praised for her government’s humane handling of the massacre. “We saw the way New Zealand’s government stood with their minority. Can India say that it stands with its minorities?” he asked.