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Govt, pol parties slam Malik for Shah Rukh Khan comment

delhi Updated: Jan 29, 2013 22:05 IST
Rehman Malik


The government as well as the political class on Tuesday slammed Pakistani interior minister Rehman Malik's demand that India provide security for actor Shah Rukh Khan, saying it was "uncalled for" and he should be more worried over security of its citizens.

Malik was also reminded that India was capable of looking after its citizens and that it treated all of them equally.

BJP said the minister's advice to India was "laughable".

"We are capable of looking after our own citizens, let him worry about the security of his country's citizens," Union Home Secretary R K Singh told reporters.

Stressing that Indian government treated all citizens equally, information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari asked Malik to pay attention to the plight of minorities in his own country.

"...He (Malik) would be better served by bothering about the internal situation in Pakistan and really introspecting about the treatment of minorities in Pakistan and see as to what they can do as a state to improve the condition and the plight of their own minorities," Tewari said.

"The test of a democracy is not how you treat your majority but the test of a democracy is how do you treat your minorities. And the UPA government, under the Indian constitution has endeavoured to treat each citizen and each individual with the same respect, the same equanimity which the constitution entitles it," he added.

BJP termed as "uncalled for and unacceptable" Malik's demand, saying Islamabad should be more concerned about the minorities living in that country.

"The statement of Pakistan interior minister offering advice to India is uncalled for and unacceptable. A statement coming from the interior minister of a failed state which had the distinction of harbouring world's most notorious terrorist Osama Bin Laden in its backyard is laughable," BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy told reporters.

Rudy also demanded that the Government of India should call the Pakistan High Commissioner and convey its protest.

Congress said Malik should not interfere in the country's internal affairs while the Shiv Sena said India was "capable" of protecting its citizens and is not "answerable" to Pakistan.

Maik had on Monday waded into the controversy over the Bollywood star's remarks about the problems purportedly faced by Indian Muslims, saying the Indian government should provide the actor security.

"He (Shah Rukh) is a born Indian and he would like to remain Indian, but I will request the government of India (to) please provide him security. I would like to request all Indian brothers and sisters and all those who are talking in a negative way about Shah Rukh, they should know he is a movie star," Malik had said.

On Sunday, LeT founder and India's most wanted terror mastermind Hafiz Saeed had also said that the actor can move to Pakistan if he didn't feel safe in India.

In an interview, the actor had reportedly mentioned that he has sometimes become the inadvertent object of political leaders who choose to make him a symbol of all that they think is wrong and unpatriotic about Muslims in India.

Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi condemned Malik's statement and said he should not interfere in India's internal affairs.

"India knows how to protect its citizens. Pakistan's interior minister should protect his own citizens," he added.

"They (Pakistan) should not meddle in our internal affairs. The Government in India is capable of protecting its citizens. Our government is not answerable to Pakistan. Pakistan should instead protect the Hindu minority in their country," Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut said in Mumbai.

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