Senior analyst and author Imtiaz Gul sits with Jehangir Khattak, a New York-based senior journalist, and commentator, to discuss the disgraceful remarks of Pakistan’s Defense Minister and a senior leader of the Pakistan Muslim League (N) Khwaja Mohammad Asif. “The minister must tender an unconditional apology to overseas Pakistanis,” Khattak tells Gul as he dissects the minister’s remarks, which have been widely condemned by the overseas Pakistanis.
The minister has invited the ire of non-resident Pakistanis across the world, especially in the US, Canada, and the UK, over his June 14 remarks in the National Assembly. In an incomprehensible diatribe against Pakistanis living in the US and Canada, Asif said: “Those who are sitting overseas, who speak English, say we will stop sending remittances… Remittances are sent by our brothers sitting in the Gulf countries. 2.8 million Pakistanis live in Saudi Arabia, 1.8 million Pakistanis live in the UAE, but those sitting in the US are speaking, some are speaking from Canada… those who come here (to Pakistan) to bury their dead, sell their properties and go back…”
خواجہ آصف نے نواز شریف کے بچوں اور اپنی بیٹی اور بیوی کے بارے میں کہا کہ یہ بے شرم… pic.twitter.com/Q7PFhkMSwh
— Shehryar Bukhari (@ShehryarReal) June 14, 2023
Asif received a sharp rebuke from Pakistani Americans. The Association of Pakistani Physicians in North America led the charge. “APPNA condemns disparaging remarks of Khwaja Mohammad Asif, Pakistan Minister for Defense about overseas Pakistanis, demands an apology. Requests Honorable Prime Minister @cmshehbaz to reconsider Mr. Asif’s position in the cabinet,” APNA said in a tweet and released a detailed statement condemning the minister.
APPNA condemns disparaging remarks of Khwaja Mohammad Asif, Pakistan Minister for Defense about overseas Pakistanis, demands apology. Requests Honorable Prime Minister @cmshehbaz to reconsider Mr. Asif’s position in the cabinet. pic.twitter.com/yMvu2ygsQU
— Assoc. of Pakistani Physicians of North America (@APPNA) June 15, 2023
Overseas Pakistanis Global Foundation, a New York-based community organization, also took to Twitter to demand an apology from Asif.
Overseas Pakistanis demands apology from Mr Khwaja Asif- Defence Minister Pakistan for disparaging remarks for overseas Pakistanis and requesting to our honorable @PakPMO @CMShehbaz Prime Minister of Pakistan to reconsider Mr. Asif’s position in the cabinet. pic.twitter.com/cHFD3uYmtO
— OPGF (@OPGFGlobal) June 16, 2023
Many Pakistanis released videos on Twitter to express their anger at the minister’s insulting remarks.
Shame On You Defence Minister Khwaja Asif pic.twitter.com/M8vK14C5yl
— Adil Iqbal Malik (@786Adiliqbal) June 14, 2023
Video courtesy: Imtiaz Gul Youtube channel