A photograph depicting former cricketer and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan as a Hindu god has triggered a debate in Pakistan. The issue has been raised by Hindu legislators in Pakistan National Assembly, following which the Interior Ministry of the country was directed check the circulation of the photograph on social media and nab those behind it.
According to Pakistan-based Dawn News, National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq took up the matter with the Interior Ministry after protest by Hindu legislators over hate speeches and social media campaigns being carried out using the photograph.
The picture of a Hindu deity, with Imran Khan’s face superimposed on it, was submitted before the Assembly by legislator Ramesh Lal, reported Dawn News. Calling for legal action, the legislators asked National Assembly Speaker to initiate a probe into the matter.
The report further said that the Interior Ministry has been asked to complete the investigation within seven days.
Imran Khan’s PTI has, however, maintained that the party is in support of the members of Hindu community in the country. Dawn News quoted PTI vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi as saying that the campaign was being carried out by some party’s social media wing.
Imran Khan had in 2014 said that Hindus who had fled Pakistan would return to the country if his party, PTI, was voted to power in the country. He had also expressed concerns over members of Hindu and Kalash communities allegedly being forced to convert in Pakistan.