New Delhi, Oct 8 (IANS) The former Pakistan foreign minister Mahmud Khurshid Kasuri has sought to turn around the words of film idol Dilip Kumar to imply that Muslims were feeling insecure in India, although the thespian said no such thing.
Following the Kargil war in 1999, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had apparently called up Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to express regret that while he (Vajpayee) had been received in the Lahore with such warmth, Pakistan had wasted no time in trying to occupying Kargil.
This is stated in Kasuri’s book ‘Neither a Hawk nor a Dove: An Insider’s Account of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy’. The book then goes on to say that Vajpayee told Sharif that he would like him to talk to someone sitting next to him.
Sharif was astonished to hear the voice of Dilip Kumar (earlier Yusuf Khan), who was originally from Peshawar tell him: .’Mian Sahib, we did not expect this from you since you have always claimed to be a great supporter of peace between Pakistan and India. Let me tell you as an Indian Muslim, that in case of tension between Pakistan and India, the position of Indian Muslims becomes very insecure and they find it difficult to even leave their homes. Please do something to control this situation.” the book said.
Dilip Kumar’s exhortation was against war between the two countries, but what Kasuri interepreted this to be was that Indian Muslims were insecure.
“India and Pakistan can’t have a bigger icon than Dilip Kumar. Mehdi didn’t want me to quote him on that because he thought the prime minister will get angry. I told him that the story is a clincher. That a film idol like Dilip Kumar feeling insecure as a Muslim,” Kasuri told IANS in an interview here on Tuesday.
The anecdote about Dilip Kumar was recounted to Kasuri by Saeed Mehdi, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, at the time of the Kargil War. He tried to dissuade Kasuri from mentioning this, saying Sharif would not like it. But Kasuri saw it as a “clincher” about the so-called insecurity among Muslims in India.