Pakistan sacks provincial minister for anti-Hindu comments

Punjab provincial Information Minister Fayyaz Chohan, center, made offensive remarks about Hindus. (Screenshot/YouTube)
Updated 05 March 2019

Pakistan sacks provincial minister for anti-Hindu comments

  • Punjab provincial Information Minister Fayyaz Chohan sacked for offensive comments
  • Chohan later said comments were aimed at India and not Pakistani Hindus

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s government sacked a provincial minister on Tuesday for making offensive comments about Hindus, amid easing tensions with India after the two nuclear-armed neighbors came to the brink of war last month.
Punjab provincial Information Minister Fayyaz Chohan referred on Monday to Hindus, who number more than four million in Muslim-majority Pakistan, as “cow urine drinkers” in a highly charged speech against India.
The statement was immediately condemned on social media and by senior members of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) as hurtful to the country’s Hindu minority.
Chohan later said his comments were aimed at India and not Pakistani Hindus.
The federal government “has removed Fayyaz Chohan from the post of Punjab Information Minister following derogatory remarks about the Hindu community,” the PTI said on Twitter.
“Bashing someone’s faith should not be a part of any narrative.”
Pakistani politicians in the past have not been penalized for making offensive statements about minority communities. Chohan himself has previously been criticized for making derogatory statements about other minorities and about women.
Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated dramatically last month, after an Indian air strike on what it said was a militant group that had carried out a suicide attack in the Pulwama district of Indian-controlled Kashmir on Feb. 14.
The situation began improving after Pakistan last week released an Indian pilot who had been shot down in an aerial dog fight, in what Islamabad called a “goodwill gesture.”


France’s yellow vests stage new protests for anniversary

Updated 48 min 59 sec ago

France’s yellow vests stage new protests for anniversary

  • Fresh protests were held across France to mark the birth last year for the movement
  • Authorities said about 28,000 people marched across France on Saturday, including 4,700 in Paris

PARIS: Yellow vest activists are staging fresh protests across France to mark the birth last year of their movement for economic justice, a day after scuffles between Paris police and activists marred the anniversary.
Interior minister Christophe Castaner deplored Saturday’s violence on CNews television. He said Paris police had detained 173 people.
Authorities said about 28,000 people marched across France on Saturday, including 4,700 in Paris. Yellow vest activists said there were 44,000.
On Sunday, dozens of protesters briefly gathered under the dome of Paris’ Galeries Lafayette store to denounce consumer culture.
On Nov. 17, 2018, hundreds of thousands of people blocked traffic around the country to protest a fuel tax hike. The sometimes-violent protests have increasingly vented anger at President Emmanuel Macron’s policies, who is seen as favoring the rich.