Owaisi dares Centre to declare Taliban a terrorist outfit
All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday dared the Centre to declare Taliban a terrorist organisation even as he said his party was willing to contest 100 seats in Uttar Pradesh.
“If the government has courage, it should put Taliban in the schedule of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. I have been saying since 2013 that Taliban’s emergence could be a sign of concern for India, while it might benefit China and Pakistan. But for the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), all Muslims are Taliban. The Indian government has made a strategic blunder by isolating Muslims in the National Register for Citizens (NRC). I always maintained that it should not be on religious lines, ” he said, while talking to media persons in Patna.
Reacting to UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s ‘abba jaan’ remark, Owaisi said, “Had he worked, he wouldn’t have had to take recourse of ‘abbajaan’ at the time of election. UP Muslims have the lowest literacy rate and the highest dropout rate. UP has the highest number of malnutritioned children. Yogi is only diverting attention from those issues.”
“We are preparing to contest 100 seats in UP. So far there is no tie-up. We can go it alone also...Those who point fingers at us for helping any party should explain what happened in the Lok Sabha election when AIMIM was not in the fray. In Bihar, we fought 19 seats and won five. We are expanding to ensure that the Muslims get their deserved rights, which has not happened and is apparent through their poor economic and educational condition,” he said, adding the state unit of the party would take a call on the two seats going to by-elections in Bihar later this year.
Owaisi was also critical of a letter from Kishanganj district magistrate for identification of suspected foreign nationals, citing Patna high court. He said it looked like an attempt to implement NRC through the backdoor. “I am disappointed. I expected the state government to give clarity on the matter before the court,” he added.
BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand said Owaisi was trying to instigate Muslims in the name of NRC for his brand of politics, like the Congress and RJD always did. “Nobody can stay in any country without passport and visa, unless one gets political asylum or is treated as refugee. Rest are treated as illegal immigrants and every country requires to prepare their list. The same needs to be done in India as well. What is happening in Seemanchal is a normal police process, as the issue of illegal immigration is no secret in the bordering areas such as Kishanganj, Katihar, Araria etc. at present, NRC has not been implemented and Owaisi should refrain from deriving political mileage out of it,” he said.