File photo: Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. Photograph:( Zee News Network )
'This country is secular because the majority of people here, the major community has the DNA of secularism and unity,' Naqvi told WION in an exclusive interview.
Union Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has expressed confidence that the BJP is going to be the first choice of Muslims in elections.
Speaking to WION's Palki Sharma Upadhyay, Naqvi said that his party the BJP's commitment is development with dignity, and empowerment without appeasement.
Here's the full transcript of the interview:
WION: When it comes to reports of violence against Muslims, do you think these incidents are happening?
Naqvi: Modi government's track record since 2014 is tremendous. It's commitment towards inclusive development is being fulfilled. Muslims have been the primary beneficiaries of many schemes rolled out by the government. Every other political party wants the Muslim vote but they don't want to do anything for their empowerment.
Out commitment is development with dignity, empowerment without appeasement.
All these reports are fake and fabricated, propaganda of some frustrated people.
WION: Have you ever been discriminated in this country because of being a Muslim?
Naqvi: No. I have never felt this way, right from my college till now. We have tried to end the environment of any sort of discrimination. Ours is the commitment of development without discrimination.
WION: Do you believer that the BJP will ever be the first choice of a Muslim voter?
Naqvi: Yes, I strongly believe so. In 2014, around 12-15 per cent Muslims had voted for the BJP. In 2019 it grew to 25 per cent. This was a major revolutionary change in the mindset of the people. You will see further change in the next elections.
WION: Will triple talaq bill be passed this time?
Naqvi: We hope it gets passed this time. This has nothing to do with Islam, it is something which should come to an end. It is not a good practice, it is not a political issue. Risks are associated with running the government, if you don't take risks, reforms can't happen and without reforms a government cannot perform.
WION: United States, which is traditionally seen as an ally, came out with a report which was critical of your government and its treatment of minorities, your views?
Naqvi: That country should see its own track record when it comes to the minorities. In our country, the constitutional, democratic and religious rights of all minorities are safe and well protected. We don't need any advice from anyone.
We therefore reject such reports.
WION: Global leaders are of the view that religious minorities in Pakistan are suffering, what would you say?
Naqvi: At the time of partition, 22-23 per cent minorities existed in Pakistan, which is not even two per cent now. This is a cause of worry. Ours have grown from 8 to around 18-20 per cent as people say. This is the difference which we need to understand. This country is secular because the majority of people here, the major community has the DNA of secularism and unity.
WION: Your thoughts on China’s detaining ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims in Xinjiang?
Naqvi: I know of such reports but I don't have much to comment on this but I can say that people's rights cannot be crushed.