Secular India disregarding Gandhi, buried under RSS ideology: Pak minister

Qureshi said Ayodhya verdict was full of contradictions, against spirit of justice

Shah Mehmood Qureshi | Twitter Shah Mehmood Qureshi | Official Twitter handle

Ever since the Supreme Court announced its verdict in the Ayodhya dispute, ministers in the Imran Khan government in Pakistan haven't shied away from commenting on the issue. The Pakistan government even used the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor on November 9 to highlight its views on Kashmir and the Ayodhya verdict.

On Monday, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi claimed India had moved away from the non-violent path of Mahatma Gandhi and moved to a trajectory set by the RSS. Qureshi made the comments while speaking to reporters at Parliament House on the issue of Pakistan's policy on the Kashmir issue. Dawn quoted Qureshi as saying, “India of today is not India of Gandhi and Nehru. It is now Hindustan, which is dominated by supremacist Hindutva ideology. After disregarding Gandhi’s values, secular India has got buried…under RSS ideology."

According to The Nation, Qureshi claimed the Supreme Court verdict on Ayodhya was "full of contradictions and against the spirit of justice".

Qureshi used the Kartarpur Corridor initiative to project Pakistan as reaching out to minorities, noting Islamabad was "setting up a Gurdwara", while India "demolishing a mosque".Qureshi claimed the purpose of establishing the Kartarpur Corridor was to show the "Pakistan was a country that valued religious minorities and offered them complete freedom to practice their religion." In contrast, Qureshi claimed that the Indian government had locked Srinagar's Jamia mosque, disallowing Eid prayers, Moharram processions and Milad-ul-Nabi celebrations.

Earlier, Qureshi had objected to the timing of the Ayodhya verdict as it coincided with the inauguration of the Kartarpur Corridor. Qureshi described the decision as an act of “insensitivity”. “You should have taken part in this happy occasion and not attempted to divert attention. The dispute is a sensitive issue and should not have been made part of this happy day,” Qureshi had said.

Qureshi is not the only Pakistani minister who commented on an internal issue of India. On the day the Supreme Court delivered its verdict on Ayodhya, Chaudhary Fawad Hussain, Pakistan's minister of science and technology, tweeted multiple times. Hussain, perceived to be motormouth on issues related to India, described the verdict as "shameful, disgusting, illegal and immoral" and noted "ruling for the India means a backward society based on hate for others with zero space for minorities, a sad day for India and a black day for Indian judiciary".