Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has shown amazing bravery. In the words that Imran has condemned the attack on Salman Rushdie, does any leader of India and Pakistan have the strength to condemn that attack as well? This statement of Imran has made him a big leader not only in South Asia but also in the whole of West Asia.
Imran Khan said in an interview to the London newspaper ‘Guardian’ that the attack on Rushdie was “extremely horrific and tragic”. He also said that the anger of the Muslim world over Salman Rushdie’s book ‘The Satanic Verses’ is justified but it is unfair to attack this Indian born Muslim writer. Rushdie knows how much reverence every Muslim has for the Prophet Muhammad. Despite this, he wrote such a book.
Imran had refused to attend a writers’ conference in India 10 years ago because of his attitude, which Rushdie was about to attend. But this time, when Rushdie was fatally attacked by a Lebanese-born Muslim youth at a conference going on in the US, the prominent leaders of South, Central and West Asia were sniffed by the snake. They were afraid that their condition might also become like Salman Rushdie. Even the big chested leaders of India shrank their chests.
He too was afraid that the same thing should happen to him, which has happened in the name of Nupur Sharma. But Imran proved that he is a sure Muslim but he is also a complete Pathan. He cannot live without speaking the truth. Iran, which had issued a fatwa for the assassination of Salman Rushdie in 1989, was a little softer this time than before, but it also did not have the courage to do milk and water like Imran.
Imran Khan is the only big leader of Pakistan who is openly asking Taliban to respect Afghan women. But Imran also said last year that Western nations should not force the Taliban to follow their way of life. The Taliban has thrown off the gamble of slavery, that is, driving the Americans out of Afghanistan. What do Imran’s statements on Rushdie and the Taliban reveal?
Is it not that Imran is following the middle path? Such a path, by which truth is also protected and no one is hurt by it. This path is the real Indian path, which was also propounded by Gautam Buddha. The narrow and communal people will find this statement a loss deal for Imran, but this statement has worked to polish the image of Islam and Pakistan.