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Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader, sacked over anti-Hindu remarks, returns as minister in Punjab


LAHORE: Pakistan's Punjab province chief minister on Monday reappointed Fayyazul Hassan Chohan as his Information Minister, nine months after he was sacked over his anti-Hindu remarks that invited intense criticism from senior party leaders and the minority community.

According to a notification, Chohan will head the information department along with his current portfolio of Colonies Department, Geo TV reported.

"Chief Minister (Punjab) is pleased to assign the portfolio of 'Information Department' to Mr Fayyaz-ul-Hasan Chohan, MPA, PP-17 Rawalpindi, Provincial Minister, Punjab in addition to the portfolio of Colonies Department'," the notification read.

The portfolio was previously held by minister for industries Aslam Iqbal, who resigned from the post saying that due to engagements in his constituency he cannot do justice with two ministries.

Chohan had come under severe criticism from senior members of his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, ministers and social media users for his controversial remarks while addressing a gathering on February 24 in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir.

He had apologised for his remarks following intense criticism, saying he was addressing Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Indian armed forces and their media not the Hindu community in Pakistan.

Prime Minister Imran Khan took serious notice of Chohan's 'anti-Hindu' remarks and directed Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar to remove him forthwith, party sources said at the time.

Several members of the Hindu community in Pakistan took to Twitter to condemn the minister's remarks.

Hindus form the biggest minority community in Pakistan.

According to official estimates, 75 lakh Hindus live in Pakistan.

However, according to the community, over 90 lakh Hindus are living in the country.

Majority of Pakistan's Hindu population is settled in Sindh province where they share culture, traditions and language with their Muslim fellows.