New Delhi: Reaching out to Muslims ahead of Lok Sabha elections, BJP President Rajnath Singh asked the community to give it a chance and not go by the “propaganda” spread by Congress while promising to stand for equality and apologize for any “mistake” or “shortcoming” in the past.
“Please note that whenever, wherever if there has been any mistake and shortcoming on our part, I assure you that we will apologize to you by bowing our heads,” said BJP chief Rajnath Singh while addressing a gathering of Muslims here .
Singh said BJP was not against Muslims and the community should not go by the propaganda against it. He asked them to vote for BJP this time for the sake of the nation.
“Try us once. We don’t come up to your expectations, don’t look at us ever again,” he said at the event “Modi for PM — Mission 272+ — role of Muslims” here.
The BJP chief asked the Muslim community not to vote for electing a government but for a strong nation where brotherhood and humanity shall prevail.
Talking about the 2002 Gujarat riots, Rajnath Singh said Congress engineered such a propaganda as if Modi had ordered the massacre of all Muslims at that time and is now not even ready to accept the clean chit given to him by the courts.
“Congress is playing vote bank politics to defame Modi and BJP … Try and understand this, they want Muslims to move away from BJP,” he said.
“Now, the court has also given him a clean chit, what else is left against him,” the BJP chief said.
His colleague Arun Jaitley also sought to woo the Muslims, saying BJP does not treat minorities as “instruments of political power” but treated them as equals.
“An organized campaign has gone on for several years to create a fear factor amongst the minorities about the BJP,” he said, adding the party has “no prejudice” against them and appealed them to shun vote bank politics.
He said Muslims should support BJP to help make India a “riot-free country where all citizens including minorities are guaranteed security and treated as co-equals with no discrimination”.
The BJP chief said the Indian Constitution does not provide for reservation on religious lines. “Anyone who is poor should be given reservation, be it Muslims, Christians … and not on religious basis. Why divide people on the basis of religion. There should be equality.”
The party plans to convene at least one thousand such conferences to woo the Muslims and allay their “misconceptions”.
For BJP, the party chief said, the country’s Constitution is its religion and Hindutva is nothing but a way of life in which the world is a family and it “loves” Muslims.
Singh said Modi has defined secularism as “India first” and called for doing politics of justice and humanity.
He questioned the Congress for trying to project itself as a “messiah” of the minority community and asked what it had done for them since Independence.
Claiming that members of the minority community have been siding with BJP, he said hundreds of Muslims have won on BJP symbol in civic bodies in Gujarat where Muslims have got the highest per capita income in the country. This, he said, has been achieved during the 10-year rule of Modi.
Pakistani Anti-graft body wants travel ban on Nawaz Sharif, kin
Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog has asked authorities to place ousted premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law on the Exit Control List to prevent them from leaving the country.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) sent a formal request to the ministry of interior. The interior ministry officials confirmed that the NAB wrote that names of Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar should be put on the Exit Control List (ECL), which listed individuals not allowed to leave Pakistan.
The NAB argued that as the trial of the three nears its conclusion, it is feared that they would leave the country.
Earlier, a similar request to place name of finance minister Ishaq Dar on ECL was not accepted, allowing him to go to London and never return.
Sharif, 68, and his family this week filed an application with the accountability court seeking a fortnight’s exemption from personal appearance from February 19 onwards to let them go to London to see Sharif’s ailing wife. Three cases were filed against Sharif and his family last year, including Avenfield properties, Azizia & Hill Metal Establishment, and Flagship Investments.
Maryam and Safdar are accused only in Avenfield properties case. The NAB had filed two supplementary references against Sharif, his sons Hasan and Hussain regarding Al-Azizia Steel Mills & Hill Metal Establishment and Flagship Investment cases.
Pakistan “breaches obligations’ on nuclear arms reduction, UN court told
The Hague: Pakistan is violating its “obligations” to the international community by failing to reduce its nuclear arsenal, the Marshall Islands told the UN’s highest court on Tuesday.
The small Pacific Island nation is this week launching three unusual cases against India, Pakistan and Britain before the International Court of Justice.
Majuro wants to put a new spotlight on the global nuclear threat, its lawyers said yesterday, by using its own experience with massive US-led nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s.
“Pakistan is in breach of its obligations owed to the international community as a whole,” when it comes to reducing its nuclear stockpile, said Nicholas Grief, one of the island nation’s lawyers.
DeBrum warned that even a “limited nuclear war” involving the two countries would “threaten the existence” of his island nation people.
Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.
In 1998, the rival neighbours both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability.
The ICJ’s judges are holding hearings for the next week and a half to decide whether it is competent to hear the lawsuits brought against India and Pakistan — neither of which have signed the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
A third hearing against Britain — which has signed the NPT — scheduled to start on Wednesday will be devoted to “preliminary objections” raised by London.
The Marshalls initially sought to bring a case against nine countries it said possessed nuclear arms: Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.
Israel has never admitted to having nuclear weapons.
But the Hague-based ICJ, set up in 1945 to rule in disputes between states, has only admitted three cases against Britain, India and Pakistan, because they have accepted the ICJ’s compulsory jurisdiction.
Pakistan’s lawyers did not attend Tuesday’s hearings.
It did however file a counter-claim against Majuro’s allegations saying “the court has no jurisdiction to deal with the application” and insisting that the case is “not admissible”, said ICJ President Ronny Abraham.
Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus
New Delhi: Bangladesh is likely to drop Islam as its official religion following a series of attacks on people from other faiths in the country. The country’s Supreme Court is hearing a plea challenging the status of the official religion of the country to Islam.
Bangladesh, which was declared a secular country after its formation in 1971, was declared an Islamic country following a constitutional amendment in 1988.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, the plea has challenged the declaration of Islam as the national religion of the country.
The move is being supported by leaders from the minority communities like Hindus, Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.
Bangladesh has 90 per cent of Muslims, 8 per cent Hindus and remaining constitutes Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.
In last month, a Hindu priest was hacked to death following an attack on a temple in Panchgarh district. Two others were seriously injured in the attack. There have been several lethal attacks on writers and bloggers.
According to a report in the Independent, Islamist groups Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh and Ansarullah Bangla Team are believed to have carried out at least seven attacks on foreign and minority people in Bangladesh in the past year.