RSS-affiliate MRM to keep Pakistan out of its international iftar event on Monday
The neighbouring country is not invited to the event considering its “negative attitude” towards India.india Updated: Jun 17, 2017 16:24 IST
The Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM), an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has decided to keep Pakistan out of its mega international iftart party to be held at parliament house annexe in New Delhi on Monday.
National convener of the MRM Mohammad Afzal told HT the neighbouring country was not invited considering its “negative attitude” towards India.
The MRM, is the Muslim-wing of the RSS, the ideological fountainhead of the BJP. It was set up in2002 by the saffron organisation to reach out to the Muslims.
For the past two years it has been organising iftar, the first meal a Muslim takes after Roza (dawn-to-dusk fasting) during the month of Ramadan.
Pakistan was not invited even last year.
“The purpose of the event is to promote communal and regional harmony,” Afzal said.
Diplomats and representatives from more than 50 countries, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Indonesia, Malaysia and Tunisia, are invited for the event to be presided by Union home minister Rajnath Singh.
The invitees will be offered cow milk to break the fast, which is a rare occurrence at an iftar party. Muslims traditionally break their fast with dates and a glass of water.
But the MRM this year is serving cow milk to those observing Roza (fasting) at the iftar parties, it has been hosting across the country, to create awareness against cow slaughter.
Far-right Hindu groups have long opposed the slaughter of cows, which are considered Holy in Hinduism.
The BJP-led central government issued a notification on May 26 banning the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter.
In 2016, the MRM did not invite Pakistan to protest its high commissioner Abdul Basit’s remarks following the Pampore attack ostensibly by Pakistan-based Lashkar e Taiba that claimed the lives of eight army personnel.
“We would like to see friendly relations between India and all its neighbours. Unfortunately, Pakistan has not been reciprocating India’s good gesture. They are directly behind the recent unrest in Kashmir. Inviting them to the iftaar would have gone against the spirit of the event,” said Afzal.
Senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar, Manipur governor Najma Heptulla, Union minister of steel Choudhary Birender Singh, Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari will attend the iftar among others.
“We are inviting people from all religions. The aim is to promote unity, peace, brotherhood, inter-religious respect and understanding,” MRM’s joint convenor Shahid Akhtar said.
Last year diplomats from more than 50 countries attended the MRM’s iftaar party.