The Pakistani cricket team on 24 October registered a thumping victory against its Indian counterpart in the ongoing World Cup T20 tournament.
The Babar Azam-led Pakistani team defeated the Virat Kohli-led Indian team by 10 wickets.
Soon after the match, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed put out a video statement on his verified Twitter account congratulating the entire Islamic world for the win (“saari aalam-e-Islam ko fateh mubarak”).
Minutes before the match was to begin, the Minister told the media on camera that Pakistanis are filled with passion about the match as they are conscious of “what’s happening to Muslims in India”.
Like many in Pakistan’s top political circles, Sheikh Rasheed is known for for his anti-Hindu views.
Last year, he threatened a nuclear war against India, but not without stating that the weapons would be designed in such a way that they will save Indian Muslims from the attack.
In February 2019, barely an hour after Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan went on record to absolve his country of any involvement in the deadly Pulwama terror attack, Sheikh Rasheed went on a communal rant against India and Hindus, threatening a nuclear war and declaring that no bells would sound in Hindu temples.
“If anyone will stare at Pakistan with an evil eye, his eye will be gouged out, and then no grass will grow, no birds will chirp, and no bells will sound in temples, as Pakistan is that bastion of Muslims that Muslims from the world over look up to,” said the minister in a video uploaded by him. (You can watch the video here.)
Far from being reined in, Rasheed, who was railways minister then, continued in the same vein on 28 February 2019, in his speech in Pakistan parliament where he opposed the release of Indian pilot Abhinandan Varthaman.
Rasheed appealed to every Muslim to join Jihad. “Doing Jihad is mandatory in Islam. If a Muslim does not do Jihad, he is no longer a Muslim,” he said.
In the video, Rasheed said that “not only our 22 crore Muslims but 30 crore Muslims on your [Indian] side too would rise against you (Modi) in the name of Islam”.