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Nisar hits out at 'secular' political opponents

Updated May 13, 2017

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan lashed out at political opponents, reassuring his supporters that he stands opposed to those who are "secular" or "non-believing".

He was addressing a gathering of supporters on Saturday in Saroba, Punjab.

"Some political parties criticise me for raising my voice for the principles of Islam. If you are proud of being secular; of being non-believers, then I am proud of to be pro-Islam," he remarked, inviting a round of applause from his supporters.

"I will also support all those people who, in light of their religion (Islam), are wrongly criticised or accused," he added.

Explore: Meeting of Muslim envoys called to discuss blasphemy on social media: Nisar

"If you go out with a diya [earthen lamp], you are unlikely to come across good people. These days, there is no differentiation between Halal and Haraam; only money talks, power talks," he said.

Zooming out of local politics, Nisar said; "The source of terrorism is the West considering every bearded man and hijab-wearing woman as being a terrorist. Unless the West changes this attitude, there will be no control over terrorism."

Explore: Nisar urges West to stop linking Islam with terrorism

"I am a straight talker. I talk straight even with my own party leadership," he said.

"I have been in politics for 35 years and many times, people have tried to buy me by offering me different positions. With the grace of God, I never sold out," he passionately said.

"People these days campaigning for 'change'; do not listen to them," he said, referring to his political opponents.

Nisar said change could not be expected from people who have pillaged the country.

Note: This story has been amended to correct a mistranslation of the interior minister's speech. The error in the earlier version is regretted.