Pakistani minister criticizes Taliban over ‘regressive thinking’

Islamabad, Dec 27 (EFE).- Pakistan’s information minister and government spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry on Monday said that the regressive thinking of Afghanistan’s Taliban-led government was “dangerous,” expressing concern that extremist ideas might spread to the entire region.

The comments from the spokesperson come despite Islamabad extending support to the Afghan Taliban so far and after the Kabul-based regime banned women from carrying out long journeys without a male companion or without using the face veil.

“This kind of retrogressive thinking is a danger for Pakistan,” Chaudhry said at an event in Islamabad, adding that “Pakistan’s biggest and most important fight is against these extremist thoughts.”

The minister compared the Taliban with the Hindu nationalist government of India led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing both the neighbors of promoting religious extremism.

“We have had failures and successes but till now Pakistan is that bright hope in this region, which, while remaining amid these extremes can emerge out from them,” Chaudhry said.

He also defended the establishment of Pakistan as a separate entity after the partition of the Indian subcontinent, so that the Muslims could become the majority and their rights could be protected, but insisted that this mean the creation of a religious state.

“Our real challenge is how to reclaim Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s Pakistan,” he added, referring to the founder of Pakistan, who wanted a progressive and democratic country according to the minister.

The new rules for women were announced on Saturday by the Afghan Ministry of Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, which also banned taxis from playing music apart from other rules.

Chaudhry’s comments come after a Sri Lankan-origin man, working as an export manager at a sports equipment factory, was lynched in the Pakistani city of Sialkot earlier this month.

After he was accused of blasphemy, a mob killed the manager and set fire to his body even as onlookers filmed the gruesome incident.

The lynching was condemned by Prime Minister Imran Khan and Pakistani authorities, although blasphemy allegations have often triggered violence in the country. EFE


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