04:14 GMT21 February 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): The sarcastic dig at Christian minorities in India by Pakistani army spokesperson Asif Ghafoor came amid ongoing turmoil over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which allows citizenship to religiously persecuted minorities including Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.

    Pakistan Army’s spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor appeared to have stirred the hornet’s nest through Twitter on Christmas, by taking aim at a member of Christian community residing in the Indian state of Odisha.  

    Ghafoor hinted that the Christians, as minorities, are persecuted in Odisha under the “Hindutva obsessed environment”.

    “Very Merry Christmas to Christians in Pakistan, across the globe and especially to the those in the states of Odisha and others under the Hindutva obsessed environment,” he stated in a Tweet.

    The remark evoked a sharp reaction from several, including India’s Central Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who is a native of Odisha state.

    “The Pakistan Army spokesperson’s backhanded Christmas greeting is shameful. His reference to Odisha shows his ignorance and lack of understanding about the state,” said Samit Patra, a politician of the ruling Odisha Government.

    The remark also disturbed netizens who slammed Ghafoor for his distasteful Christmas wish.

    The controversial CAA seeks to grant citizenship to illegal immigrants from six religious minorities – Hindus, Parsis, Jains, Christians, Buddhists, and Sikhs, from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan if they arrived in India prior to 2015. It, however, doesn't extend the same treatment to Muslims.


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