MUMBAI: India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday said it had suspended BJP spokeswoman Nupur Sharma in response to comments she made during a TV debate about the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him).

The BJP said in a statement on its website that the party respected all religions.

“The BJP strongly denounces insult of any religious personalities of any religion.” Sharma said on Twitter she had said some things in response to comments made about a Hindu god but it was never an intention to hurt anyone’s religious feelings. “If my words have caused discomfort or hurt religious feelings of anyone whatsoever, I hereby unconditionally withdraw my statement.”

Another BJP spokesman Naveen Jindal was expelled from the party over comments he made about Islam on social media, the BJP office said.

Jindal said on Twitter he had questioned some comments made against Hindu gods. “I only questioned them but that does not mean I am against any religion.”

The BJP statement said: “The Bharatiya Janata Party is also strongly against any ideology which insults or demeans any sect or religion. The BJP does not promote such people or philosophy.”

Sharma’s comments have prompted complaints from several Muslim countries, including Qatar and Kuwait.

Qatar’s ministry of foreign affairs said in a statement it had summoned the Indian ambassador over the comments.

Kuwait also summoned the Indian ambassador and said it had handed the ambassador a protest note in which Kuwait rejected and denounced the statements made by the BJP official.

Qatar’s foreign ministry statement also said it welcomed the (BJP) party’s decision to suspend the official, but said Qatar was expecting a public apology and immediate condemnation of these remarks by the Indian government.

Published in Dawn, June 6th, 2022

Opinion

A crisis of trust?

A crisis of trust?

Most damaging fallout of the constant demonisation of opponents by political leaders is erosion of public trust in politicians.

Editorial

An unseemly dispute
08 Aug, 2022

An unseemly dispute

THERE is clarity, but perhaps not of the kind that Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial hoped to achieve when...
Unfair on taxpayers
Updated 08 Aug, 2022

Unfair on taxpayers

Unfair move has drawn valid criticism as it coincides with drastic increase in income tax on salaried people and corporates.
Polio nightmare
08 Aug, 2022

Polio nightmare

AS if the resurgence of polio in southern KP were not enough, officials and international monitoring bodies must now...
Political stunt
Updated 07 Aug, 2022

Political stunt

The former PM is attempting to make a very expensive point with his decision to contest all 9 NA seats going up for by-election.
Monsoon emergency
07 Aug, 2022

Monsoon emergency

AS another wet weather system has entered Pakistan, and the federal government has declared a “monsoon...
Taliban’s denial
07 Aug, 2022

Taliban’s denial

THE Afghan Taliban’s recent statement denying any knowledge of the now deceased Al Qaeda chief Ayman...