Chohan faces severe backlash for derogatory remarks against Hindus

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Foreign Office spokesperson Dr. Mohammad Faisal on Tuesday said Pakistan values its minorities and the contributions of the Hindu community.

Taking to Twitter, the FO spokesperson 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.”

Dr. Faisal’s tweet comes after a video went viral of Punjab Information and Culture Minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan making derogatory remarks against the Hindu community.

“I was addressing the Indian army and Indian media,” Chohan said. He added, “I am sorry if my statement has hurt the sentiments of Hindus residing in Pakistan.”

Chohan was severely criticized by 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.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government “will not tolerate this nonsense”, party leader Naeemul Haque said Monday night. “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, who is special assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan, tweeted.

Shireen Mazari and Asad Umar, the federal ministers of human rights and finance, also condemned Chohan’s remarks.

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“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.

Pakistani human rights activist Kapil Dev also reminded Chohan that are four million Hindus living in Pakistan and even his own party had Hindu lawmakers.

Mahira Khan also joined the chorus of voices calling for action against the Punjab information minister. “Action not just condemnation. Always a good time to set an example, but now may be the best time!” she tweeted.

Chohan received severe criticism not only from senior PTI leaders who condemned his derogatory words, but people from all walks of life demanded sacking Chohan for his scornful remarks against the religious minority group.

Fayyaz-ul-Hasan Chohan has come forth tendering an apology for his derogatory statement against Hindus. Clarifying his stance Chohan has said that his comments were not targeted towards the Hindu community in Pakistan, but directed towards Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and that he is apologetic if his remarks have caused offense to the Hindu community. “I was addressing the Indian army and Indian media,” Chohan said. He added, “I am sorry if my statement has hurt the sentiments of Hindus residing in Pakistan.”Chohan also said that he will ‘give a befitting response to anyone who casts an evil eye on my country.’However, I was not referring to the Hindu community of the country, he stressed.