New Delhi: Peeved over the “insensitive” remarks of Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit on militant attack in Pampore in which 8 CRPF jawans were killed, an RSS affiliate has decided not to invite Pakistan to the ‘Iftar’ to be hosted by it on July 2 to promote goodwill among Muslims.
The Muslim Rashtriya Manch, an affiliate of RSS, which had initially invited the Pakistan High Commissioner in Delhi to the event has now decided not to extend the formal invite to Basit, after he showed “insensitivity” to the killing of Indian jawans.
“We had initially sent an email invite to the Pakistan High Commission, inviting its High Commissioner to the July 2 ‘Iftar’. But after he displayed “insensitivity” to killing of Indian jawans in a militant attack in Pampore in Kashmir, we have decided not to extend a formal invite to him,” national convener of the Manch Mohammad Afzal told PTI.
He said “we had thought of inviting Pakistan as a goodwill gesture and send across a message to open a new route of communication with them. But, it seems they are not ready to listen to any sane voices. Their High Commissioner displayed complete insensitivity on the killing of jawans and did not condemn the attacks.”
Seeking to shed its ‘anti-Muslim’ tag, the Manch is hosting a grand ‘Iftar’ on July 2 in Parliament annexe where it has invited ambassadors of many countries including Muslim nations to spread the message of unity and harmony and of making India “riots-free”.
“We have cancelled the invite of Pakistan High Commissioner. We can’t have Iftar with them when our soldiers are being killed. We want to send a strong message that India will not tolerate this,” MRM functionary Mohammad Afzal said.
In what the Manch terms as a ‘callous’ remark, Afzal said when questioned about Pampore attack, Basit insisted that people should focus on the Iftar party during Ramzan and ‘not talk politics’.
When asked about the Pampore attacks during an ‘Iftar’ hosted by Pakistan High Commission last Saturday, he is reported to have asked for focusing on the Iftar party and enjoy it instead.
Basit’s statement left the Sangh fuming, leading its affiliate to take the bold step of cancelling its invite for the Iftar.
“We wanted to make a fresh start and forge better
cultural and social ties. But we are disappointed with Basit’s reaction,” Afzal said, adding that Pakistan does not reciprocate gestures of friendship and would not change.
He cited the Kargil war that followed former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s visit to Lahore and the Pathankot terror attack after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise visit to Lahore.
RSS leader Indresh, who is the patron of the Manch, earlier said, “The aim is to tell the world about Indian-ness, helping people from all communities live in peace and harmony…”
“India is a ray of hope and peace for the Muslim world. Rashtriya Muslim Manch has urged members to host small iftar parties by inviting people from all communities and spreading the message of brotherhood,” he said.