‘Cannot justify what happened’: Ex-Pak PM Imran Khan on attack on Salman Rushdie

Published on Aug 19, 2022 04:43 PM IST

British author Salman Rushdie was stabbed by a 24-year-old New Jersey resident - identified as Hadi Matar - on stage in western New York state on August 12.

FILE PHOTO: Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan.(REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan.(REUTERS)
Written by Manjiri Sachin Chitre | Edited by Swati Bhasin

Former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan on Friday said that the attack on British author Salman Rushdie was “unjustifiable”. In an interview to the Guardian, Khan termed the assault as “terrible and sad” and indicated that while the “anger in the Islamic world at the Mumbai-born author’s controversial novel ‘The Satanic Verses’ was understandable”, the attack, on the other hand, was “unjustifiable”.

“Rushdie understood because he came from a Muslim family. He knows the love, respect, and reverence of a prophet that lives in our hearts. He knew that. So, the anger I understood, but you can’t justify what happened,” Khan told the British daily.

Notably, in 2012, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief had refused to attend a media conclave in New Delhi after learning about Rushdie's participation. He had reportedly said that he could not “think of participating in an event that included Rushdie - who had caused immeasurable hurt to Muslims across the globe.”

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British author Salman Rushdie was stabbed by a 24-year-old New Jersey resident - identified as Hadi Matar - on stage in western New York state on August 12. The Indian-born writer suffered three stab wounds to his neck, four stab wounds to his stomach, puncture wounds to his right eye and chest, and a laceration on his right thigh, the police had said.

Rushdie has been receiving threats since his book 'The Satanic Verses' was published in 1988. The book had led to a fatwa - a religious decree - by the then Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. According to some reports, a bounty of around USD three million was declared earlier for anyone who kills Rushdie.

(With inputs from agencies)

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