Punjab Minister of Punjab for Information and Culture Fayyazul Hassan Chohan on Tuesday said traders who stock up on illicit and illegal profits by hoarding items in times of need are the kind of people who get ‘punished’ in the shape of disabled children.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader was holding a press conference on the coronavirus situation here in Lahore for appealing to traders to not hoard masks, sanitisers or any other product that is needed during the pandemic.
“Those who do illegal hoarding will face the wrath of God not only on the day of judgment but also during their lives as their children will be born disabled,” Chohan said.
“When such people have disabled children then the whole society knows why they have these kinds of children. They are Allah’s azaab,” he added.
The minister was also rebuked by Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari.
“Special children are not an “azaab” [punishment] but are special human beings to be cared for and loved and allowed to develop their own potential. In fact, no child can ever be an “azaab”, and for anyone to make such a cruel, inhumane statement is absolutely unforgivable and condemnable,” she tweeted.
Special children are not an “azaab” but are special human beings to be cared for and loved and allowed to develop their own potential. In fact no child can ever be an “azaab” and for anyone to make such a cruel, inhumane statement is absolutely unforgivable and condemnable.
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) March 17, 2020
Further, a user on Twitter clarified that the Quran was being misquoted whereas there is a clear difference between azaab and trails.
When i saw people defending #FayyazChohan with wrong translation of Surah e Anfaal Ayat no. 28.
Nowhere does Allah use the word “AZAAB” for children & wealth. Word is “TRIAL”.
— Mir Mohammad Alikhan (@MirMAKOfficial) March 17, 2020
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) also condemned the minister.
HRCP is deeply concerned by the statement made by the Punjab Information Minister @FayyazulHChohan, who has suggested that children with physical or mental disabilities are born as a result of their parents’ sins. This was irresponsible and callous.
— Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (@HRCP87) March 17, 2020
Another user on Twitter pointed out that Chohan has a history of problematic statements which cause harm to society.
Kaptaan appointed Fayyaz Chohan
Fayyaz Chohan makes racist comments about Hindu people
Kaptaan fires Fayyaz Chohan
Kaptaan reappoints Fayyaz Chohan
Fayyaz Chohan makes these disgusting comments 👇🏽
What does it say about Kaptaan? 🤔
— Khurram Qureshi (@qureshik74) March 17, 2020
It may be noted here that in March 2019, the PTI minister had made derogatory remarks directed against the Hindu community for which he was sacked for some time but was reinstated soon after the matter cooled down.
On another occasion a few months prior to that, Chohan, while talking to reporters in Lahore, had repeatedly used the word “Kashmiri” with the names of Sharif family members, reportedly in a scornful way.