The Guardian took my Salman Rushdie statement 'out of context': Imran Khan

Imran Khan issues clarification after being criticised, says spoke about Sialkot lynching in context of attack on Rushdie

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PTI Chairman Imran Khan addresses an event on Regime Change Conspiracy and Pakistans Destabilisation in Islamabad on June 22, 2022. — AFP
PTI Chairman Imran Khan addresses an event on "Regime Change Conspiracy and Pakistan's Destabilisation" in Islamabad on June 22, 2022. — AFP

  • Imran Khan issues clarification after being criticised.
  • PTI chairman says "explained Islamic laws" in interview.
  • The Guardian reported Khan termed Rushdie's attack "sad".


ISLAMABAD: PTI Chairman Imran Khan has said that the UK-based publication The Guardian took his statement on the attack on controversial author Salman Rushdie "out of context".

According to the publication, Khan had condemned the attack on "The Satanic Verses" author and described it as "terrible and sad" during an interview.

The Guardian quoted him as saying that the anger of Muslims towards Rushdie's book was understandable, but that cannot be taken as a justification for the assault.

The comments of the PTI leader invited criticism from across the country.

However, in a recent statement shared by PTI on Twitter, Khan said that he "spoke about the Islamic view on punishments for blasphemers".

"I explained the matter in this context," the former prime minister said, adding that he also gave examples of the Sialkot incident in the context of the attack on Rushdie.

Khan was referring to the Sialkot incident where a Sri Lankan citizen Priyantha Kumara was lynched by a mob comprising hundreds of protesters on December 3.

One week ago, Rushdie was about to be interviewed as part of a lecture series in upstate New York, when a man stormed the stage and stabbed the 75-year-old writer repeatedly in the neck and abdomen.

Rushdie's suspected assailant, 24-year-old Hadi Matar from New Jersey, was wrestled to the ground by staff and audience members before being taken into police custody.

Matar answered a grand jury indictment Thursday, pleading not guilty to attempted murder and assault charges.

Rushdie's condition remains serious after emergency surgery but he has shown signs of improvement, and no longer requires assisted breathing.