Owaisi upset over suspicions that he likes Taliban


Patna: AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday took umbrage over suspicions that he had a soft corner for the Taliban and dared the Narendra Modi government at the Centre to declare the militant group a terrorist organisation .

Addressing a press conference here, the firebrand Hyderabad MP also demanded that the government, given the fact that India currently headed the UN committee on sanctions, give an assurance that none of the Taliban leaders will be delisted from the list of terrorists.

Why do you raise suspicions (shaq) over me with regard to Taliban? Was it Asaduddin Owaisi who had handed over jailed terrorists to secure the release of passengers of the hijacked plane in Kandahar , said Owaisi in response to questions about some BJP leaders having dubbed him as a man of Talibani soch (mindset) .

Owaisi said he has made his stance clear about the Taliban on the floor of Parliament but his words of caution were not heeded.

During the debate on CAA, I had requested the government to consider making the Act religion-neutral, warning them of a possible takeover by the Taliban. But for that strategic blunder, we would have been in a position to grant safe asylum to Tajiks, Uzbeks, and members of other minority tribes , said Owaisi.

He also said that the Taliban takeover would strengthen Pakistan and China while giving India a lot to worry about which was regrettable since India had invested a lot in Afghanistan.

The country had spent Rs 35,000 crore in Afghanistan. Thousands of its youngsters have been provided education on our soil. We had so much at stake in that rugged country which lies en route to the Chabahar port in Iran we were developing , Owaisi lamented.

What the Modi government is doing is only sending emissaries to hold talks with Taliban representatives and it must have left the diplomats in the restive country to fend for themselves, he alleged.

Let the Modi government declare Taliban a terrorist organisation, if it means business. Let it also announce that no Talibani leader will be given legitimacy by being delisted from the list of global terrorists. I would like to see if it has the courage to do so , Owaisi fumed.

Asked about the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, the AIMIM chief, whose party has made some inroads in Bihar, said he was planning to field candidates in about 100 out of the 403 seats there.

When his attention was drawn to criticism over the induction of people with criminal antecedents like Allahabad mafia don Atiq Ahmed, he snapped and is Pragya Thakur above reproach (doodh ki dhuli)? .

He also alleged that a large proportion of legislators belonging to the BJP and its allies like the JD(U), of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, had criminal records.

If they are respected public representatives……then Atiq Ahmed too is a citizen of this country with some unproven charges and hence eligible to contest the polls , said Owaisi.

He also sarcastically referred to Yogi Adityanath’s Abba Jaan remark, saying it was a polarising tactics on part of Baba an allusion to the UP CM being a celibate monk.

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