With his remarks on Babri Masjid demolition and 26/11 Mumbai terror strikes stoking a controversy, visiting Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Saturday downplayed it saying he had made no comparison.
“There is no comparison whatsoever between Babri Masjid demolition and 26/11 attacks. Babri Mosque (demolition) was actually an ethnic and sectarian strife,” Malik said on the sidelines of a function here. He also noted that his remarks should not be taken in “a negative way”.
Malik had on Friday said at a function in the presence of Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde that he would not like to witness again events such as the 2001 twin tower attacks in New York, the 2008 Mumbai attacks, the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts, the 2007 Samjauta Express bomb attacks or the 1992 Babri Mosque demolition.
“Pakistan itself is a victim of inter-faith clashes and sectarian strife. There have been Shia-Sunni clashes in Pakistan. My intention was not to create confusion, but to sound caution to both countries,” he said.
Malik met BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, when she sought and obtained a clarification on his remarks naming the Babri Masjid demolition among the terror attacks he would not like to witness again. The BJP sources said Malik clarified that his remarks were “misread” by the media. She also asked the Pakistani minister about the progress in the 26/11 trials in a Rawalpindi court against seven accused and the excesses against Hindus in Pakistan.
Malik informed her that the trials were being fast-tracked.