Pakistan slams construction of ‘Ram Temple’ on Babri Mosque site


Pakistan on Monday condemned the construction and consecration of the ‘Ram Temple’ on the site of the demolished Babri Mosque in the Indian city of Ayodhya and urged the international community to take cognisance of the growing Islamophobia, hate speech and hate crimes in India.

“The United Nations and other relevant international organisations should play their part in saving the Islamic heritage sites in India from extremist groups and ensuring the protection of the religious and cultural rights of the minorities in India,” the Foreign Office Spokesperson said in a press statement.

Pakistan also urged the Indian government to ensure the safety and security of religious minorities, including Muslims and their holy places.

The centuries-old mosque was demolished on December 6, 1992 by a mob of extremists.

Deplorably, the spokesperson said, India’s superior judiciary not only acquitted the criminals responsible for this despicable act but also allowed the construction of a temple on the site of the demolished mosque.

“Developments of the last 31 years, leading to today’s consecration ceremony, are indicative of growing majoritarianism in India. These constitute an important facet of the ongoing efforts for social, economic and political marginalisation of the Indian Muslims,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson emphasised that a temple built on the site of a demolished mosque would remain a blot on the face of India’s democracy for the times to come.

Notably, there was a growing list of mosques, including the Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi and Shahi Eidgah Mosque in Mathura, facing similar threats of desecration and destruction, it was added.

Read also: India’s Modi leads consecration of Ram temple in Ayodhya

“The rising tide of ‘Hindutva’ ideology in India poses a serious threat to religious harmony and regional peace. The chief ministers of two major Indian states, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, are on record as citing the Babri Mosque’s demolition or inauguration of the ‘Ram Temple’ as the first step towards reclaiming parts of Pakistan,” the spokesperson said.

Hindu groups, Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its affiliates have portrayed the temple opening as part of a Hindu renaissance.

The temple in the city of Ayodhya has been a contentious issue that helped catapult the BJP to prominence and power, and delivers on its 35-year-old promise, which analysts say should help Modi as he seeks a rare third term in an election due by May.

For decades, the temple site was bitterly contested by Hindus and minority Muslims, leading to nationwide riots in 1992 that killed 2,000 people, mainly Muslims, police say, after a Hindu mob destroyed the 16th-century mosque that had stood there.

India’s Hindus claim the site is the birthplace of Lord Ram, and was holy to them long before Muslim Mughals razed a temple at the spot to build the Babri Masjid in 1528.

In 2019, the Supreme Court of India handed over the land to Hindus and ordered allotment of a separate plot to Muslims where construction of a new mosque is yet to begin.

(With input from Reuters)

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