Pakistan's interior minister Rehman Malik on Monday waded into the
controversy over actor Shah Rukh Khan's remarks about the problems purportedly
faced by Indian Muslims, saying the Indian government should provide the actor
"He (Shah Rukh) is 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
Noting that Shah Rukh is loved by the people of Pakistan and India, Malik said:
"I am sure all those who are talking against him or are trying to threaten
him, they will withdraw their threat with this hope that the stars are loved,
the stars provide love and they are like a symbol of unity".
Malik made the remarks while interacting with reporters at a reception organised
by High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal to mark India's Republic Day.
He was responding to questions about a first-person account penned by Shah Rukh
for the special edition of Outlook Turning Points, in which the actor
focused on his experiences as a Muslim in the post-9/11 world.
Malik said that extremism was growing around the world.
"India has realised now which I identified three years back - that this
(extremism) is going to grow in India," he claimed.
Pakistan, he said, would not exploit such extremism or "use it
He added, "Let's get together and fight against this extremism and
terrorism because we are working for betterment and peace in Pakistan and
Malik said he wanted to see friendship between India and Pakistan flourishing
because Islamabad believes friendship between the two sides is "a way
forward for peace in this region and prosperity on both sides".
Despite "minor" issues like the tensions along the Line of Control,
Malik said he was "sure the composite dialogue will continue in the same
manner and all the agreements we have signed will be respected".
He asked the Indian government to begin implementing a scheme to issue visa on
arrival to Pakistani senior citizens, saying he had directed Pakistani officials
to grant such visas to Indian senior citizens.
Officials have said the scheme, which was to start from January 15, was put on
hold as the Pakistani side was seeking many documents from Indian senior
In contrast, the officials said, the Indian side had prepared simplified
procedures for Pakistani applicants.
Malik Should Worry About Own Citizens' Security: India
Reacting sharply to Malik's demand for security for actor Shah Rukh Khan, India said that Islamabad should be
concerned about the security of its own citizens rather than worrying
"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 here.
There's No Country Safer Than India for Muslims: BJP
"Pakistan has a bad record as far as minorities there are concerned. There
is no country safer than India for Muslims and no better neighbours for them
than Hindus," BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.
"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,"
another party spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy told reporters here.
"It is high time that Shah Rukh Khan gives a befitting reply to terrorists like Hafiz Saeed who are not only a threat to India but the entire world," Rudy said.
"Regrettably all this started after the recent statement of Shinde against the majority secular Hindus of our country. The remarks gave space to terror elements to make statements about India," Rudy said.
Malik Should Introspect on Treatment to Minorities in Pak: Cong
"So far as the interior minister of Pakistan is concerned, he would be better served by bothering about the internal situation in Pakistan and really introspecting about the treatment of minorities there and see as to what they can do as a state to improve the condition and the plight of their own minorities," Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari Tewari said here.
"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 and the same equanimity," he added.
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