NEW DELHI: The government has lambasted Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for his critical comments on the plight of minorities living in India, saying his remarks are an "egregious insult to all citizens of India."
Responding to the issue, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, " Pakistan’s Prime Minister has yet again demonstrated his lack of understanding about India’s secular polity and ethos. He overlooks the obvious fact that adherents of all faiths choose to live under the democratic polity and the progressive Constitution of India."
"India has eminent leaders of all faiths who occupy its highest Constitutional and official positions," the MA spokesperson said further.
Pakistan PM has triggered a controversy when he said this country does not treat its minorities as ''second class citizens'' as India does.
Imran Khan said this in Nankana Sahib on Saturday.
The MEA spokesperson also highlighted how Atif Mian was removed from PM Economic Advisory Council since he was from minority Ahmadiyya sect after pressure from the right-wing lobby in the neighbouring country.
"Pakistani citizens of non-Islamic faith are barred from occupying high Constitutional offices. The minorities are often turned away from government bodies like the Economic Advisory Council of their Prime Minister, even in ‘naya Pakistan," the MEA official said.
MEA: India has leaders of all faiths who occupy its highest Constitutional&official positions. Pakistani citizens of non-Islamic faith are barred from occupying high Constitutional offices.Minorities are often turned away from govt bodies like their PMEAC, even in ‘naya Pakistan' https://t.co/IqO1FiFnza
— ANI (@ANI) February 9, 2019
India asked Pakistan to "focus on its domestic challenges" and "improve conditions of its citizens rather than try and divert attention."
Pakistan has been trying to get a bailout from the international monetary fund (IMF) to support the country's ailing economy. The Pakistani Prime Minister is slated to meet IMF Chief Christine Lagarde on Sunday in Dubai regarding the bailout.
This is not for the first time that the Pakistani PM has talked about minorities in India. In December last year, he had said that he will "show Modi government how to treat minorities"
On 25th December 2018, the birth anniversary of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the man who partitioned India, Khan tweeted, "Naya Pakistan is Quaid’s Pakistan and will ensure that our minorities are treated as equal citizens, unlike what is happening in India"