Indian Muslims feel insecure under Modi

Updated 11 June 2014
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Indian Muslims feel insecure under Modi

A visiting youth activist from the Indian subcontinent said here on Tuesday that there is a strong feeling of insecurity among the Muslim community in India under the premiership of Narendra Modi.
Aloor Shanavas from Tamil Nadu, a well-known script writer and prominent activist in India, expressed these sentiments to Arab News during his visit to Riyadh.
Shanavas has written six books and directed three film documentaries to highlight the social problems in the country.
The events of 1990s — anti-Muslim violence such as the destruction of the Babri Masjid and the Mumbai riots, the anti-dalit violence mainly in Kodiyankulam and Thinniyam, and atrocities like burning alive of a Christian priest and his young children — greatly affected Shanavas. He realized the importance of fighting for the cause of minority communities and the oppressed and marginalized people. He became the voice of the voiceless through his writings, speeches and the visual media.
His compilation of poems entitled ‘Thottaakkal,’ dealing with the Gujarat genocide 2002, spread huge shockwaves in the Tamil milieu. Shanawaz has participated in a lot of programs in several TV channels from 2003 to 2006.
After the reports of committees headed by Justice Sachar and Justice Ranganath Misra, whose findings showed that Indian Muslims lagged behind even the Dalits in the fields of employment and power — were released, Shanavas directed and released a full-length documentary ‘Pirappurimi’ (birth right) highlighting the need for special reservation for Muslims. At a function held in Chennai on May 27, 2006 Parithi Ilamvazhudhi, the then Minister for Information released the documentary.
“Our Muslims have still not forgotten the massacre of their brethren in Gujarat for which Modi was largely responsible. Nearly 2,000 Muslims were killed in this genocide,” he said, adding that is the reason they are in a dilemma as to what will become of the community following Modi’s premiership.
However, he added that there can be a change in Modi’s attitude after the premiership. “It is yet to be seen,” he added.
He lamented as to why the voice of this massacre of Muslims in Gujarat was not heard. He stressed that the Muslim lobbying was not as strong as the propaganda for the killers. He said the Indian Muslims youths have a greater role to voice their opinion on matters affecting their community.
Although Modi won the majority of electoral seats in the last elections, only 30 percent of the voters were for him while the remaining 70 percent was against him.
He propagated the idea of Muslims co-existing peacefully with other communities in India. But he insisted that Muslims should be given their share in the government’s allocation of jobs and other facilities entitled for the minority community.
Shanavas has traveled to Sri Lanka, Qatar, Malaysia, Kuwait and Penang and addressed literary and social seminars. On Friday, he is slated to address his community members in a city hotel in the capital.


Saudi Arabia pledges $3bn to Pakistan, defers oil payments

Updated 24 October 2018
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Saudi Arabia pledges $3bn to Pakistan, defers oil payments

  • It was agreed Saudi Arabia will place a deposit of $3 billion for a period of one year as balance of payment support: statement
  • Pakistan is seeking foreign aid to help plug a massive budgetary gap which the Pakistan prime minister has blamed on the mismanagement of the previous administration

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has pledged $3 billion in support to Pakistan and allowed for deferred oil payments to help stave off a budget crisis.

The deal came as Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan attended the opening of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh on Tuesday.

Earlier Khan met with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss bilateral issues. It was his second visit to the Kingdom in just over a month.

“It was agreed Saudi Arabia will place a deposit of $3 billion for a period of one year as balance of payment support,” Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“It was also agreed that a one-year deferred payment facility for import of oil, up to $3 billion, will be provided by Saudi Arabia. This arrangement will be in place for three years, which will be reviewed thereafter.”

During his address to the gathering of global business executives, Khan also confirmed that Pakistan was in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a new bailout.

Pakistan is seeking foreign aid to help plug a massive budgetary gap which the Pakistan prime minister has blamed on the mismanagement of the previous administration. During his election campaign, the former cricketer vowed to create 10 million jobs and establish an “Islamic welfare state.”

After a consultative visit last month, the IMF had warned that Pakistan needed to quickly secure “significant external financing” to avert a crisis. 

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have also discussed potential investment in mineral resources in Balochistan, the largest of Pakistan’s four provinces which borders Iran and Afghanistan.

Further discussions were held about a refinery project in Pakistan, the Finance Ministry said in the statement.

Pakistan’s external balance of payments represents one of the biggest challenges facing Khan.

The country’s current account deficit has ballooned as its central bank’s foreign reserves dropped to about $8.1 billion in October.

That was barely enough to meet the country’s sovereign borrowings between now and the end of the year.

The IMF expects Pakistan’s economic growth to slow to about 4 percent in 2019.

Pakistan is seeking to attract increased inward investment to help shore up its finances and Khan used the event as platform to talk about opportunities in sectors such as tourism, minerals, coal and gas exploration.

He also highlighted what he said were the successes of Pakistan in the fight against terrorism, which has brought peace and stability to the country, and pointed to the significance of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

China has become an increasingly high-profile investor in Pakistan as Beijing pushes ahead with major projects such as the CPEC.