AIMIM leader Waris Pathan withdraws ‘15 crore Muslims’ comment, claims his remark being twisted

Kusum Tewari

All India Majlis-e-Ittahadul Muslimeen leader Waris Pathan on Saturday withdrew his controversial remark suggesting that Indian Muslims should dominate other communities, NDTV reported.

Pathan said on Saturday that he had no intentions of hurting the sentiments of any community. However, he claimed that his remark was being “twisted” to defame him and AIMIM, which he called a “political conspiracy”. “However, I take back my words if they hurt anyone and apologise for the same,” Pathan told reporters in Mumbai. “I am a true and proud citizen of this country.”

At a rally last week, Pathan had said, “To those saying we have only put our women at the forefront – only the lionesses are out and you’re already sweating. Imagine what would happen if we all came together. We are 15 crore, but that can outweigh 100 crore, remember that.” Pathan had said in the context of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

On Friday, AIMIM Maharashtra chief and Aurangabad MP Imtiyaz Jaleel said the party does not support Pathan’s comments. “The party will seek an explanation from him over the remarks,” he added. “If needed, we will come out with a set of dos and don’ts for the party workers while giving speech.”

AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi had criticised Pathan on Friday and asked him not to talk to the media. Pathan’s remarks had attracted severe criticism from the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Shiv Sena and the Congress. The BJP demanded that Pathan be booked for sedition.

Earlier on Saturday, Bharatiya Janata Party Yuva Morcha member Dhananjay Deshpande filed a first information report against Pathan.

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