Fayyaz ul Hassan Chohan, a minister in Pakistan’s Punjab province, tendered his resignation on Tuesday following uproar over anti-Hindu remarks he delivered during an in Lahore on 24 February.
Chohan, the Information and Culture Minister of Punjab Province, had called Hindus “cow urine-drinking people” and “idol worshippers”.
According to Dawn, Chohan, a member of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI), was severely criticised by leaders from his own party as well as others in Pakistan for his remarks.
Spokesperson for Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has confirmed that Chohan has tendered his resignation. The report says that Imran Khan had himself taken note of Chohan’s remarks.
A video containing Chohan’s hate speech against Hindus went viral on Twitter.
“We are Muslims and we have a flag, the flag of Maula Ali’s (AS) bravery, the flag of Hazrat Umar’s valor (AS). You don’t have that flag, it isn’t in your hands,” Chohan is heard saying in the video.
“What this flag has to do with anything is beside the point,” the minister added.
“Don’t operate under the delusion that you’re seven times better than us. What we have, you can’t have, you idol worshippers,” he said referring to Hindus.
The speech was made two days before India launched a pre-emptive airstrike against a major terrorist training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in Pakistan’s Balakot.
Soon, the hashtag, #SackFayyazChohan, started trending in Pakistan with many urging the government to take action against the minister.
While assuring action against Chohan, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Political Affairs Naeemul Haque in a tweet said that PTI would not “tolerate this nonsense”.
“Pakistan proudly owns the white in the flag as much as the green, values contributions of the Hindu community and honours them as our own,” wrote Dr Mohammad Faisal, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Tuesday.
The derogatory and insulting remarks against the Hindu community by Fayyaz Chohan the Punjab Info Minister demand strict action. PTI govt will not tolerate this nonsense from a senior member of the govt or from anyone. Action will be taken after consulting the Chief Minister.
— Naeem ul Haque (@naeemul_haque) March 4, 2019
Dr Mohammad Faisal, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, tweeted that “Pakistan proudly owns the white in the flag as much as the green, values contributions of the Hindu community and honours them as our own”.
#Pakistan proudly owns the white in the flag as much as the green, values contributions of the Hindu community & honours them as our own.
— Dr Mohammad Faisal (@DrMFaisal) March 5, 2019
Defending his derogatory comments, Chohan had said that the words were directed at Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Indian Armed Forces and the Indian media and not the minority Hindu community in Pakistan.
“My remarks were in no way directed at Pakistan’s Hindu community,” he was quoted as saying by Geo TV.
Chohan also apologised to the minority Hindu community.