Azam Khan berates West over Paris attacks; stirs new row

Lucknow, Nov 16 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Minister Mohammad Azam Khan seemed to suggest on Monday that Paris terror attacks were a reaction to the West’s aggression against Islamic countries to control their oil resources, but later denied that he made any action-reaction link.

Many a war had been fought in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Iraq primarily to control the oil wells in these countries, Azam Khan, who’s urban development minister in the Samajwadi Party government, said in an interview to a television news agency.

His comments drew condemnation from the Bharatiya Janata Party. Media reports quoted the party’s secretary Siddarth Nath Singh as saying that comments like Azam Khan’s “weakened” the country’s resolve to fight terrorism.

BJP state spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak asked Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to explain whether he endorsed the views of his cabinet colleague.

Azam Khan denied media reports that quoted him as suggesting that the terror attacks that left 128 people dead in Paris were a “reaction against some action”, but all the same he accused the US of bombing hospitals and schools in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in its pursuit of controlling oil resources.

“I have never said anything like this and I have always been against all kinds of terrorism,” the controversial minister stated.

He claimed he was being unfairly targeted by his political opponents and the media for very long since he was a Muslim.

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