India’s current government is taking that country down the same path as Nazi Germany took from a liberal democracy to a “fascist, totalitarian, racist state,” Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said in an interview.
Speaking with Foreign Policy on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Khan expressed fear that Pakistan’s nuclear-armed neighbor was following in the footsteps of Adolf Hitler.
What is happening in India “bears striking resemblance to what happened in Nazi Germany. Between 1930 and 1934, Germany went from a liberal democracy to a fascist, totalitarian, racist state,” Khan said, describing the 2019 campaign of Indian PM Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as “built on jingoism and hatred for Pakistan.”
Khan argued that India was envisioned as a multicultural and secular society by Mahatma Gandhi and its first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, but that Modi has turned it into a society hostile to Muslims. As an illustration, the Pakistani leader cited the new laws that would favor giving citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants, as well as New Delhi’s decision in August to revoke the autonomy of Kashmir, which he described as an illegal annexation.
This is not the first time Khan has made the comparison between India and Nazi Germany, however. He brought it up in December, in a speech to a conference of Pakistani-American doctors, as well as in a tweet back in August.
New Delhi has rejected criticism of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), saying that it does not affect Indian Muslims at all, and is only intended to help religious minorities facing “humiliation” in Muslim-majority Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Modi’s government also abolished Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that gave special status to Kashmir, arguing that it was time for the territory to become fully integrated into India.
“Our government has only delivered on the wishes of our great freedom fighters who got us Independence,” Modi said earlier this month. “After independence, Mahatma Gandhi and other big leaders of that time all believed that India should give citizenship to persecuted religious minorities of Pakistan.”
Present-day Pakistan and Bangladesh were created in 1947, during the partition of the British Indian Empire, as independent Muslim-majority states. India and Pakistan have been at each other’s throats ever since, in particular over the disputed princedom of Kashmir that both claim as their own.