Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif calls Narendra Modi an ‘elected terrorist’

In an interview aired on Geo TV, he said Muslims, Dalits and other minorities were an easy target in India.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on Monday called Prime Minister Narendra Modi an “elected terrorist” who has the “blood of Muslims of Gujarat on his hands”, referring to the 2002 Godhra riots. He also called the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh a “terrorist party”.

Asif made the remarks during an interview to journalist Hamid Mir on Geo TV’s show Capital Talk.

“What can we say about a country that elects a terrorist [as prime minister],” he said on the show. The minister added that Muslims were being killed in India in the guise of cow protection, and that Muslims, Dalits and Christians were all “fair game” in the country.

When Mir suggested that one cannot generalise, Asif pointed out that the Bharatiya Janata Party had won elections in Uttar Pradesh with full majority primarily because of support from “communal upper-caste Hindus”.

The minister’s comments come days after verbal exchanges between the two countries at the United Nations. India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had described Pakistan as “the greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity” in her address at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly.

In the same interview, Asif also denied recent reports that Pakistan had received a proposal from Afghanistan to swap former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav for the militant who attacked a school in Peshawar in 2014 and is currently jailed in Afghanistan. According to reports last week, the foreign minister had claimed that Islamabad had received such an offer from the Afghan national security advisor. India, however, had dismissed his claims as an “imaginary lie”.

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