In hot water: Rehman Malik under fire for statement on minorities

Malik had asked militants to declare themselves non-Muslim if they continued their activities.

Our Correspondent February 06, 2013
A file photo of interior minister Rehman Malik. PHOTO: PID / FILE

KARACHI: After coming under fire for comparing Minhajul Quran International chief Tahirul Qadri with the head of the one-billion-member-strong Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI, Federal Interior Minister Rehman was lambasted by a fellow Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) lawmaker for reportedly declaring all non-Muslims as terrorists.

Minority lawmaker MPA Saleem Khokhar, moved an adjournment motion in the Sindh Assembly on Wednesday against Malik’s statement.

The interior minister had reportedly made the remarks during the National Assembly session on January 26. Malik had reportedly said during his speech that, “Islam has no room for violence. Innocent people are losing their lives. Those people who were killed in Quetta were also Muslims. Is this Islam? If not, why are you people [militants] not declaring yourselves as non-Muslim?”

Talking to the media later, Khokhar said that Malik’s statement was “totally biased against religious minorities”. He also suggested that the government carry out a “mental check-up” of the minister.

Khokhar added that this was not the first time that Malik, or other conservative members of the PPP, had made statements that were hurtful to minorities. “PPP MNA Abdul Haq alias Mian Mitho had called minority lawmakers agents of foreign [intelligence] agencies. Rehman Malik had also compared the leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI, with Tahirul Qadri.” The lawmakers also paid tribute to renowned orthopaedic surgeon,  Dr Mohammad Ali Shah, who had recently passed away.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 7th, 2013.


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