India on Saturday rejected Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s remarks that members of Indian minorities are treated like “second class citizens”, saying they were an “egregious insult” to all Indians.
Addressing a ceremony, Khan said his government would ensure equal status and rights to minorities in Pakistan, and would not allow them to be treated as “second class citizens” like minorities of India. Responding to queries on Khan’s remarks, external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said: “Pakistan PM’s remarks are an egregious insult to all citizens of India.”
Kumar said Khan “has yet again demonstrated his lack of understanding about India’s secular polity and ethos”. He added Khan “overlooks the obvious fact that adherents of all faiths choose to live under the democratic polity and the progressive Constitution of India. India has eminent leaders of all faiths who occupy its highest constitutional and official positions. In contrast, Pakistani citizens of non-Islamic faith are barred from occupying high constitutional offices. The minorities are often turned away from government bodies like the Economic Advisory Council of their Prime Minister, even in ‘naya Pakistan’,” he said.