Tuesday Mar 05, 2019
ISLAMABAD: Punjab Information and Culture Minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan on Tuesday apologised for his anti-Hindu remarks following severe criticism from senior members of his party's government and social media users.
The Punjab information minister said, "I was addressing Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Indian armed forces and their media not the Hindu community in Pakistan."
"I apologise if my remarks hurt the Hindu community in Pakistan," Chohan continued. "My remarks were in no way directed at Pakistan's Hindu community."
Chohan further said, "I will respond befittingly to whoever looks at my nation with a dirty eye. Every last drop of my blood is for my nation."
The Punjab information minister had come under severe criticism from senior members of his party's government and social media users with #SackFayazChohan trending on Twitter for his anti-Hindu remarks while addressing a gathering on February 24.
A video had gone viral of Chohan making the remarks while responding to Indian rhetoric in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack.
Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan Naeemul Haque, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and several others had slammed Chohan over his remarks.
"Absolutely condemn this. No one has the right to attack anyone else's religion. Our Hindu citizens have given sacrifices for their country," Mazari tweeted. "Our PM's msg is always of tolerance & respect & we cannot condone any form of bigotry or spread of religious hatred," she added.
"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....its not complete without the white which represents the minorities," Umar wrote on Twitter.
While, the premier's special assistant said the PTI government "will not tolerate this nonsense". "The derogatory and insulting remarks against the Hindu community by Fayyaz Chohan the Punjab Info Minister demand strict action. PTI govt will not tolerate this nonsense from a senior member of the govt or from anyone. Action will be taken after consulting the Chief Minister," Haque tweeted.
Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal also took to Twitter and said, "Pakistan proudly owns the white in the flag as much as the green, values contributions of the Hindu community and honours them as our own."
Mahira Khan also joined the chorus of voices calling for action against Chohan. "Action not just condemnation. Always a good time to set an example, but now may be the best time!" she tweeted.