Khawaja Asif slams the five-year prison sentence for Bollywood actor as ‘discriminatory’.
ISLAMABAD – Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on Thursday criticised the status of minorities in neighbouring India, with a reference to a five-year jail term handed to Bollywood actor Salman Khan.
“Salman Khan has been sentenced because he’s a minority,” the foreign minister said during a current affairs programme on a local TV channel, while terming it ‘discriminatory’.
To sentence him in a case that is twenty years old goes on to show that lives of those who are Muslims, ‘untouchables’ or Christians are not valued in India, he told the host of ‘Capital Talk’.
Asif added, “May be if he belonged to the religion of the ruling party of India he would not have been given such a harsh sentence and the court might have been lenient with him.”
The ‘Dabangg Khan’ was sentenced to five years prison by a court in Jodhpur for killing endangered wildlife nearly two decades ago while working on the film Hum Saath Saath Hain.
Salman, one of India’s most recognisable actors, was taken into police custody and driven to jail after the sentencing amid chaotic scenes outside court.
But the actor, who denied poaching the rare black bucks in 1998, can still appeal his conviction.
Four other Bollywood stars Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu and Neelam Kothari who were also accused of joining the hunting trip but were acquitted for lack of evidence.
The black buck is an endangered species and is protected under the Indian Wildlife Act.