WEF 2023: Indian spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Thursday gave a befitting reply to Pakistan's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. Ravi Shankar was at a panel discussion and Hina Rabbani Khar, who was Pakistan's Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2011 to 2013, was also present.
Starting the discussion, she said the statesmanship that was required to resolve the India-Pakistan issue was there in bits and pieces a few years ago but was missing now.
To this, Sri Sri said people speak what they are. "There is a lack of statesmanship and I see that is coming from that side," he said. He further asked: "Why India has no problems with all other neighbours - we have good relations with Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. All the countries coming together and India is willing to be very much part of Pakistan's growth."
When told that PM Modi displayed statesmanship when he visited Pakistan to meet then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif but suffered terror attacks, Khar suggested that intent was missing. She then referred to Balakot and alleged that Indian fighter jets entered the Pakistani territory because an election had to be won.
Shri Sri shot back again and said the world knows where terrorism was sprouting. "Where was Osama Bin Laden? Where are other terrorists who have been causing problems in the world?" he asked. The spiritual leader then told Khar: "When you want to shake hands, you must also see that terrorists are not promoted in some countries. That is our issue." In 2014, he said PM Modi invited former PM Sharif from Pakistan to be part of his swearing-in ceremony. "PM Modi has shown willingness (to improve relationship)," he said.
Khar also attacked New Delhi for the citizenship amendment law and alleged that PM Modi tarnished the "secular image" of India. "Absolutely not," Sri Sri said. He said Muslim women in India have been freed from Triple Talaq, and they are happy. "There are many developmental programmes for minorities in India, the benefits have tripled," he added.
Stepping up the attack, Sri Sri further said that it was completely irrational for a government to level these charges where their minorities were in great trouble. "Minorities in Pakistan do not have the same rights as they have in India. How can someone say that minorities are suffering in India?" he asked.
Sr Sri said the amended citizenship law does not affect Muslims in India. The law, he said, is for those minorities who have lost hope in the neighbouring country. "It has nothing to do with Muslims in India, it has been said so many times by Home Minister."
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