A Pakistan foreign minister Khawaja Asif on Thursday made a controversial statement on Bollywood actor Salman Khan's conviction. The minister and linked the actor's verdict to religion. The minister stated that if Khan had belonged to ruling party's religion the court might have been lenient with him.
In an interview with Hamid Mir of Pakistan’s Geo TV, Asif said, “Salman Khan has been sentenced because he’s a minority. Maybe 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,” he claimed.
He also added that the verdict is a testimony to the conditions of minorities in India. “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 said.
Salman Khan has been sentenced to 5-year jail and also fined Rs 10,000 by Jodhpur court today. He has been found guilty in the infamous blackbuck poaching case of 1998. However, the other co-star's actors Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam and Sonali Bendre were acquitted by the court.
The trial of the case was in progress since the last 19 years and the court here had reserved the order after the final arguments on March 28.