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Shahi Imam’s invite to Pakistan PM does not merit response: Govt


New Delhi, Oct 31 :

As the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid drew flak from Muslims for inviting the Pakistan prime minister to his son’s anointment as his successor but not Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government Friday refused to get drawn into the controversy, terming his remarks as “voices from the wilderness”.

Asked to react to the invite to Nawaz Sharif, external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said: “We don’t respond to voices from the wilderness who are always clawing to get space, and your mind space.”

The Forum for Muslim Studies and Analysis (FMSA) in Aligarh accused the Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari of insulting Indian Muslims by inviting Nawaz Sharif to a Nov 29 dinner to mark the anointment of his son Shaban, 19, as the Naib Imam.

India Islamic Cultural Centre (IICC) president Sirajuddin Qureshi has also criticized the Shahi Imam’s remarks.

Qureshi, who heads the iconic institution with large number of elite community members, said that Imam Bukhari should admit that the Narendra Modi is heading the government of the day.

By inviting Sharif, Bukhari has created confusion about the Muslims in the country, and this gives a negative image to the whole community, he said in a statement.