As Delhi witnessed large-scale communal riots earlier this week, Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan upped the ante on Twitter, saying "200 million Muslims" of India are being targeted and called upon the global community act.
I want to warn our people that anyone in Pakistan targeting our non-Muslim citizens or their places of worship will be dealt with strictly. Our minorities are equal citizens of this country.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) February 26, 2020
Notwithstanding Imran's lofty rhetoric, Pakistan's own record on minority rights is damning. Last week, local authorities confiscated a community centre of the Ahmadiya community and handed it over to Sunni clerks.
The Pakistani media extensively covered the riots in Delhi. On Thursday, an editorial in Dawn said that India's "much-trumpeted claims of being a secular republic have been thoroughly exposed as the storm troopers of the Sangh Parivar have rampaged through New Delhi."
Referring to US president Donald Trump's praise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his commitment to religious freedom, the editorial said, "If the BJP government’s brutal record in India-held Kashmir, its divisive legislation (Citizenship Amendment Act), and soft corner for Muslim-baiting Hindu zealots are anything to go by, this praise is wholly unearned and the global community must have the courage to call out the Indian State for its bigotry."
On 26 February, an editorial in the Daily Times also referred to Trump's speech in Ahmedabad and said, "When Trump delivered these words in Ahmedabad, the Delhi Police was resorting to tear gas and smoke grenades to control thousands of protesters who were on the roads against the new citizenship law. Also, goons, supporting the law, attacked protesters with the backing of the police and the government."
A report in The Express Tribune with the headline "Saffron mobs run amok in Delhi; dozen killed" said, "A mosque has been set on fire in New Delhi as more than a dozen people have been killed and hundreds injured in clashes between opposing groups of protesters, the Indian capital hospital officials said on Tuesday."
BBC Hindi noted that Urdu newspapers in Pakistan also carried articles on the violence in Delhi on their front pages. The newspapers used much stronger language to describe the violence. For instance, the newspaper Khabrein wrote, "Houses and mosques of Muslims burnt; Modi's goons get a free pass." Also, the newspaper Dunya wrote, "Extremist Hindus engage in murder and arson."
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Updated Date: Feb 27, 2020 23:26:23 IST