Pakistani lawmaker lambasted for Hindu goddess tweet

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s televangelist-turned-politician Aamir Liquat Hussain has been forced to apologise for his controversial act of using the image of Hindu deity to mock Maryam Nawaz, the vice-president of opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party.
Hussain has been a member of the national assembly of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) from Karachi. On Tuesday, he had shared a screenshot of a news channel that quoted Maryam Nawaz, ex-PM Nawaz Sharif’s daughter, as saying, “They (government) will now see a second version of me.”
Husain posted the quote on Twitter with the image of a Hindu deity, likening it to Maryam’s “dusra roop (second version)”.
The move drew ire from a large number of politicians and netizens, condemning Hussain’s post, which he deleted on Wednesday evening. Later on that night, he also tendered an apology, saying the “sentiments of the Hindu community were hurt”. Hussain said he had not intended the tweet as a disrespect and had deleted the same. “I respect all faiths, this is what my religion has taught me,” he added.
Condemning Husain’s tweet, PTI’s Hindu MNA from Tharparkar in Sindh province, Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, who is also the chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council, called it a “shameful act”.
“Strongly condemn this shameful act by someone who claims to be a religious scholar also but doesn’t know how to respect other religions. Delete this tweet immediately otherwise we reserve the right to demand strict action under the Blasphemy Act and protest across the country,” Vankwani posted on Twitter. He said Hussain’s post had not only hurt the sentiments of Hindus across the country but also created resentment among supporters of PTI.
Another PTI MNA from Umerkot in Sindh, Lal Chand Malhi, tweeted: “Strongly condemn the blasphemous act of Aamir Liaquat and appeal PM Imran Khan to take notice of this immoral act. No religion including Islam permits him to do such illogical acts.” He added that the tweet, in fact, exposed Husain’s “second version”.
Surendar Valasi, a provincial lawmaker of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) from Tharparkar, issued a statement, alleging that PTI lawmakers like Husain had “lost their mental balance” and were using insulting language against their political rivals and the “weaker” communities of the country. He warned of a protest if an unconditional apology was not tendered by the “political clowns”.
Rights activist Kapil Dev requested Prime Minister Imran to take strong notice of the act by a lawmaker from his party. He said Husain had used a Hindu deity for political point-scoring. “Hindus are abused and their religious sentiments are hurt even by those sitting in the parliaments,” he said.

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