THE demolition of a Hindu temple in Karachi’s Garden area on Saturday raises some disturbing questions and is a prime example of the callous attitude that officialdom often has towards this country’s non-Muslim citizens. Reportedly, there is a dispute between a builder who claims to own the structure which contained the temple and residents, and the matter is in court. Yet the Pakistan Hindu Council and residents claim they were not given advance warning before the demolition squad showed up and that religious objects were desecrated during the operation. It has also been alleged that individuals accompanying the demolition squad took away religious objects as well as gold jewellery. Community members claim they have been living in the location for over a century. They say they have been harassed to vacate the land. An official of the cantonment board — the building falls under its jurisdiction — claims no place of worship was damaged in the “anti-encroachment” operation. However, images in the media of Hindu idols surrounded by rubble makes such denials questionable.

We are not assuming that the temple was deliberately targeted. Yet the matter should have been handled more tactfully considering the sensitivities, specifically the fact that a place of worship was involved. Would such action have been taken if a mosque had been built on illegally occupied land instead of a temple? Clumsily handled situations such as this only add to the discomfiture of minorities living in this country. As it is, in many instances non-Muslims have hardly been given equal treatment in Pakistan and have been increasingly marginalised with the growth of extremism. In such circumstances, disrespecting a non-Muslim place of worship only adds to the alienation. The authorities need to uncover the facts of the matter, especially regarding ownership, and apologise to the Hindu community for having hurt their sentiments by demolishing the temple. Even if the structure was illegally built, the community should be given an alternative site to build the temple. And if this is not the case and the demolition was illegal, then the temple should be rebuilt as it was.

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Comments (45)

Aamir
December 4, 2012 1:06 pm
It was a disturbing news when I first read and saw the images of a demolished place of worship. More disturbing is the comment section where clearly the two sides are trying to prove one another wrong. Why cant we just condemn an act that is simply disgusting. One suggested that most Pakistanis are not like that. Actually, if we weren't like that, this would not have happened. Minorities are being mistreated because we who are in majority simply don't care. If you choose to remember Babri Mosque incident, them remember how it made you feel and make sure no one around you is made to feel that way on your watch. First make sure places of worship are safe in your own land and then tell others to do the same.
Guest
December 5, 2012 5:42 am
Dear Mr Muneer Sooner you wake up to the reality the better for you. If muslims are having problems in India, how many have migrated here dude? NO answer rite?? and how many hindu's are left in Pakistan after partition. And for your ALLAH's sake stop crying about babri masjid even you know it was built after demolishing a hindu temple in Mughal Era. And also dont forget your reality your ancestor were hindus long before arab's came to this place. So get your senses right please.
muneer alam
December 4, 2012 1:06 pm
muslim nations can not sit silent while hindus keep occupying and demolishing historic and religious muslim structures be it mosques and monuments ...hindus should get at least some taste of the harassment, bullying, torture and riots which they do at large scale against muslims in India and roam free to become CMs and PMs in the so called secular and biggest democracy where a person like Thakre are given a state honor
AT
December 4, 2012 10:42 pm
Dear Kami, Can you tell me the retaliation in Pakistan if a group of Pakistani Hindus has burnt alive a train bogie full of Muslim pilgrims?
infidel
December 4, 2012 10:42 pm
My Dear, Muslims, where ever they are, try to do criminal activities, like burning train full of passengers. What do you expect in return? Wait for the day when the world turns against you, which is going to happen fast due to the centuries of atrocities that Muslims commited world over
Kris
December 4, 2012 10:46 pm
It is easy and emotional to say "why don't they come to India or Iran" but when we think about what will it take to re-set the life together in India or Iran after getting rooted off our own homeland - Pakistan -the only homeland we have seen and lived.
Kris
December 4, 2012 10:54 pm
Why do you equate the incident of Babri Mosque in India to justify any action against Hindus in Pakistan. Most of the Hindus in Pakistan have not seen or visited India. They are born in Pakistan, raised in Pakistan and this the country they have know as their own country by birth. It is vey childish mind which thinks that the Hindus of Pakistan have to do some thing what happens in India - they never seen. Please refrain from equating what happens in India with what you must do to Hindus in Pakistan.
Tarun Arora.
December 4, 2012 2:19 pm
What can you expect from these peace loving,tolerant,great people of Pakistan ! This type of behaviour is in their DNA,so no questions asked.I feel very sad for Hindus of Pakistan.
Trakkan
December 4, 2012 2:35 pm
Amidst so many problems there were no compulsion to publish this editorial. But it was published and condemned by Dawn. That is the quality of this newspaper. Brave and honest journalism. Keep it up. One demolition that happened in India in 1992 is still spoken today with anger and there are outfits still taking revenge but demolition like this are quite common and no one cares.
Silajit
December 4, 2012 1:57 pm
I hear your sentiment and appreciate it. However do note that the Babri masjid mosque was a symbol of hate which was built specifically to hurt Hindu sentiments centuries ago. Mosques of this nature built specifically to hurt sentiments of non Muslims (examples in the thousand years of Muslim rule in India abound) ought to be destroyed by Muslims themselves. Yet, tens of thousands of Mosques in India - many built in unbelievably inconvenient places have never been touched. So please put the Babri masjid episode in context.
sudhir
December 4, 2012 9:38 am
thinkers like you are in minority and your feelings and views does not represent pakistan in general.
Husain Jan
December 4, 2012 2:51 pm
According to a report workers of a political party were also seen / present during the demolition. If this is true, then who will touch them is a big question.
Muneer Alam
December 4, 2012 1:08 pm
as if non hindus and non sikhs are living in a paradise in India ...hindus in pakistan are much more safe and prosperous than we muslims living in India, always living in the fear of riots and constant support and surrender of the government before Hindu goons
Raoul Ciao
December 4, 2012 7:09 am
Jab Pakistan mein Hindu ka mazar/temple girtaa hai, to Pakistan mein poora sannaata hota hai. Lekin jab ek eent bhi masjid ki giri ek jungle mein kahin, Pakistan ka awaam zaroor aawaz uthaata hai. This is the nation which lectures the world based on superior attitude learnt from high minded noble thoughts of the Qaid e Azam . Lectures the rest on not allowing mosques to be built in certain countries in West(there these issues are sub judice incidentally), on Burma and the Rohingyas, on babri , on Phillipines cracking down on Islamic insurgents' homes (which are claimed to contain mosques !!!) and so on. The nation is a laughing stock on it's moral stance, or shall we say, immorality they practise ?
xeroxus
December 4, 2012 7:15 am
why are these people living there.why don't they come to india or iran
kami
December 4, 2012 10:33 am
My dear, Has the modern world witnessed the brutal murders of innocent muslims in Gujrat, India? where the rulling party has actively participated in such hinous act. Still you are trying to prove yourselve liberal nation?
Nasrullah
December 4, 2012 4:32 pm
" no one will approve the destruction of the Hindu temple". This is the mindset of the writer. Approval is hardly the issue but where is the CONDEMNATION.?. We are a nation of hypocrites and it has gone so far that we often do not even recognize it ourselves. Dare anyone do to us what we do to others day in and day out and we rise in vitriolic hate.
Sanity
December 4, 2012 6:13 am
Dont bother, we are used to this pathetic treatment :(.
Pavas Ambashta
December 4, 2012 1:23 pm
I was expecting this..Anyway, you should remember following two main facts about Gujarat Riots : (1) Riot was started by a MUSLIM Mob by burning 58 people including women and children alive on the Godhra Station and the riot was the result of spontaneous public anger. (2) 32 People including a STATE MINISTER have been convicted by an Indian Court in July 2012. Can anyone say the same thing about Pakistan, i.e. will anyone be ever prosecuted for the two temples demolished this year (and many more after 1947) in Pakistan or for the atrocities committed on Non-Muslims in Pakistan?? One more question to you sir, You seem to be very much concerned about so called 2000 Muslim deaths (however according to Wikipedia Muslim Casualties were 790) in a riot occurred 10 years ago in India. But can you impartially say that how many Muslims have been killed in Pakistan by the Muslims in same 10 years period??
Gerry D'Cunha
December 4, 2012 8:31 am
demolish a mosque in any christian countries and see the reaction of the fanatic moulvis taking out rallies in pakistan and else where in the muslim countries - the hindus of india have not reacted to it. compare the tolerant faiths?
hdhd
December 4, 2012 7:07 pm
Yeah Keep on crying about Gujrat for the next 1000 yrs. Whenever anyone points any of your defects or misdeeds, point to Gujrat and say, oh see they is an even worse incident. But remember Worlds patience is running out very fast and it would have run out completely and no more sympathy left even for the so called good/silent muslims.
vikram
December 4, 2012 6:11 am
Pakistan u r not doing fair with Hindus..............learn something from Indians v have given equal rights to Muslims
Vijay
December 5, 2012 1:25 pm
I don't think any temple will left without demolishing in Pakistan.The fact is Pakistan is a place with out temples.
Green Blood
December 4, 2012 8:40 am
Dear Hindus we really respect your sentiments and your religion. You can not blame the whole Pakistan for this act. I personally condemn it but please do not relate this incident with the demolition of Babri Mosque where thousands of Hindus personally invaded and demolished the centuries old mosque in the name of Hindu Religion. On the other side, this incident did not involve any kind of vengeance against our Hindu brothers and sisters. However, if our Hindu brothers and sisters all over the world have felt this incident in heart. I personally on behalf of whole Pakistani nation apologize them.
Dev
December 4, 2012 8:55 am
"Land of pure" non sense, justify how it is land of pure?
Pavas Ambashta
December 4, 2012 9:23 am
I did not say them the "land of pure",rather Pakistanis, themselves claim Pakistan to be a "land of pure" and So i wrote in my previous comment.. By etymology PAK-I-STAN = LAND OF PURE However their deeds are just opposit to what they claim..They havent justified this beautiful name of their country in any sense..
Coolest Cool
December 4, 2012 7:31 am
" in many instances non-Muslims have hardly been given equal treatment in Pakistan and have been increasingly marginalised with the growth of extremism" If so, such unfair treatment towards MUSLIMS in the US and Europe is more obvious, recorded and has been debated than minorities being oppressed anywhere in the world. No one should approve the act of demolishing the Hindu temple but it will be nice to hear your voice for those who suffer and get prosecuted on the western land for mere being Muslims as well. Do you the conscience and courage speak for them as well?
Dudenator
December 4, 2012 6:00 am
I hope we Indians will not be given any lectures any more from Pakistanis about not respecting religious structures and Babri Masjid etc etc etc.
DCM
December 4, 2012 7:19 pm
Pakistan has unwittingly become the laughing stock of the world. Continue on this path, and it will soon be left behind as a non-serious nation!
Muhammad
December 5, 2012 1:16 pm
This is common things in Pakistan,nothing new,this is how Pakistan was and is and will be in future.
kash
December 4, 2012 4:39 pm
We pak, indian are very sentimental , reacting anything in bad or good way immediately. We do not hesitate for charity also not for damaging somebody. When the train with 200 hindus burnt, reactions exploded ( not good thing) and as said lots of muslims were killed . Such thing needs to be buried else holding fire in hand to take revenge may also burn us any day. We should move forward , we are not arabian originated to hold such madness.
john
December 4, 2012 3:05 pm
Pakistan is gods own country, but devils own People
anam
December 4, 2012 5:32 pm
I condemn this act of officials. All of that certainly do not represent the views of pakistan citizens towards other religions.The officials most apologize and do whatsoever to soothe the victims.
Gerry D'Cunha
December 4, 2012 1:31 pm
Gulbagh:but yet the christian countries accommodate muslims with full dignity and honour in their country giving them all sort of benefits. shame on the muslims countries, specially pakistan who do not respect their minorities.
Gulbagh Singh, USA
December 4, 2012 5:56 am
Non-Muslims have no place in today's Pakistan.
Harish
December 4, 2012 11:37 pm
Babri Masjid was disputed from a longtime while there was no dispute on this temple. And several temples were demolished in Pakistan as well as in Bangladesh in response to Babri Masjid demolition withing days. That was not enough ? Everytime a temple is demolished you should not quote Babri Masjid. The problem is much bigger than demolition of a temple.
Sahil
December 4, 2012 11:53 pm
Just chill, after 5-10 years you won't have to do this kind of formality because by that time all hindu women would have been abducted and forcefully converted and men converted on TV shows. You should really proud about how Pakistan has treated idol worshipping kafirs.
Ajaya K Dutt
December 5, 2012 1:01 am
Babri Masjid was built after demolishing a venerated Hindu temple; where Akbar allowed Hindus to hold prayers. After Mogul empire fell, British justice system was asked to let it be restored to Hindu temple. British archaeologist established that it was built over a demolished temple but justice was denied. Even in independent India the justice was denied by delay process. This is not to justify Mosque demolition by hooligans; but law enforcement took over and a Muslim judge was asked to adjudicate the controversy. He also concluded that there was an ancient Hindu temple at the site. Demotion of Hindu temples, be it now in Karachi, be it in Lahore after Babri Masjid demolition or be it Sarsawati temple in Bhojpur, is an evil act. This is not just an insult to Hindu faith system, but more to Islam, Islamic doctrine as well as practice. This may have been an ?acceptable? practice in past; but future is dismal for those who seek to gain by this. Respectful bow to those who have expressed empathy; others may be walking on hind legs; but that is all.
umair
December 4, 2012 3:45 pm
Islam teaches brotherhood It teaches peace for all not tit for tat.If you do bad with other God shall do bad with you. If you cherish inflicting upon others you will not be spared. take piety on others,they will respect you. stop violence against weaker.History is open, Hindu never invaded foreign nation but others oppressed and enslaved them. Today they have allowed inter faith and extra faith marriage this is tolerance.If they kill or destroy Muslim it is too bad.
Jagdish
December 4, 2012 7:58 am
Why are Pakistani's silent on this outrage committed to their own country men? I urge all right minded Pakistanis to lodge their protest and supported the minorities. If you don't speak up now, then dont be upset if the minorities migrate to India
Krishna Bhagawan (@KrishnaBhagawan)
December 4, 2012 11:41 pm
And you have decimated the entire non-muslim population
Shankar
December 5, 2012 6:31 am
Think of how many temples both in the past and present have 'personally invade and demolished" in the name of Islam. even today you can find the ruins of these temples..in many beautiful temples where worship has been stopped because it has been defiled by Muslims. Babri masjid is a minor abberation compared to the overwhelming numbers of temples that have been destroyed. Again the 'We are the victim' cry.
Pavas Ambashta
December 4, 2012 5:57 am
Was it not the second temple demolition in Pakistan this year??On the other hand people from "land of pure" are still crying over a disputed mosque demolition in India almost 20 years ago..What an Irony!!
umair
December 4, 2012 3:48 pm
cool answer
MKB
December 5, 2012 5:10 am
It is just opposite. You better live India.
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