KARACHI: Punjab Information and Culture Minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan is all about the press. But more often than not he becomes the target of it for all the wrong reasons.
Since yesterday, he has been under immense criticism for his remarks at a press conference in which he referred to the Hindu community as “cow urine-drinking people” and “idol worshipers.”
“We are Muslims and we have a flag, the flag of Maula Ali’s (AS) bravery, the flag of Hazrat Umar’s (AS) valor.”
“You don’t have that flag, it isn’t in your hands,” he said. Don’t operate under the delusion that you’re seven times better than us, he added. He also told India, they also shouldn’t operate under the delusion that their “geography” is bigger than Pakistan’s. “What we have, you can’t have, you idol-worshipers,” he said, in a video reported by a local news channel.
Chohan came under severe criticism for being disrespectful to the Hindu community in Pakistan. Hashtag #sackfayazchohan has been trending in Pakistan for the past one day and people from all walks of lives are demanding his resignation.
Pouring of condemnations
PTI ministers, senators, human rights activists and everyone from the general public is outraged at his remarks.
Chohan later apologised explaining that his remarks were not meant for Hindu community in Pakistan but directed towards Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “I was addressing the Indian army and the Indian media,” he said according to The News. “I am sorry if my statement has hurt the sentiments of Hindus residing in Pakistan.”
Chief Minister of Punjab Usman Buzdar demanded Fayyaz Chohan to resign and he has been removed from his post.
Not-a-first time error
Chohan is often in the news for all the wrong reasons. He has been criticised for derogatory use of words while addressing press conferences or referencing opponents. He was also once heard using “four-letter-words” (not specified in sections of the media) against the media, according to Dawn. A video of this was recorded on a mobile phone and circulated,bringing embarrassment to the new PTI government in 2018.
In August 2018, he used indecent words against film and stage actors at a public address. In the address, he called on for the removal of vulgar and indecent film signboards inside and outside cinema halls. Referring to pictures of “half-naked” women outside cinemas he had said that for this`purpose’ people should go and watch porn.
In the same talk, he had made a sexist remark against film actress Nargis. He said the information and culture department was telling him that theatre was not exactly his domain. While saying he would ensure that it comes under his domain, he said: ” “I would ensure that Nargis became Haji Nargis and Megha was fasting for 300 days a year instead of 30 days (in Ramazan),” according to Dawn.
In October last year, while addressing reporters in Lahore he repeatedly used the word “Kashmiri” with the name of Shahbaz Sharif and Hamza Shahbaz Sharif in a mocking manner. This sparked outrage among Kashmiris. Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan Ali Amin Gandapur also called him out for it later.