Pakistan asks India to ensure protection of Muslims

Published December 7, 2020
Pakistan has urged the Indian government to ensure safety, security and protection of minorities, particularly Muslims and their places of worship. — File photo
Pakistan has urged the Indian government to ensure safety, security and protection of minorities, particularly Muslims and their places of worship. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has urged the Indian government to ensure safety, security and protection of minorities, particularly Muslims and their places of worship, and fulfil its responsibilities under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international instruments, including the recommendations of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

“Today is a sad reminder of the demolition of the historic Babri Masjid in India. On this day, 28 years ago, Hindu zealots of the RSS-inspired BJP, backed by the state apparatus, demolished the centuries-old mosque in Ayodhya in an abominable act of anti-Muslim frenzy and blatant violation of religious and international norms,” the Foreign Office (FO) said in a statement on Sunday.

Pakistan also called upon the international community, the United Nations and relevant international organisations to play their role in preserving the Islamic heritage sites in India from the extremist ‘Hindutva’ regime and ensure protection of minorities in India.

The FO said that painful scenes of the demolition of Babri Mosque in 1992 still remained fresh in the minds of not only Muslims but all conscionable persons in the world.

Slams acquittal of criminals responsible for demolition of Babri Mosque

“The new illegitimate structure, which the Hindutva-driven BJP has campaigned for and is bent upon constructing as part of its agenda of converting India into a ‘Hindu Rashtra’, is a scar on the face of so-called ‘largest democracy’ in the world,” it added.

The statement said that flawed judgment of the Indian Supreme Court in the Babri Mosque case in November 2019 not only reflected the preponderance of faith over justice but also the growing majoritarianism in today’s India, where minorities, particularly Muslims and their places of worship, were increasingly under attack.

It said that the recent shameful acquittal of the criminals responsible for demolishing the Babri Mosque in 1992 represented another egregious travesty of justice.

The FO said the extreme haste in starting construction of a temple at the Babri Mosque site amidst the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic, anti-Muslim Citizenship Amendment Act, the looming National Register of Citizens to disenfranchise Muslims, the targeted killings of Muslims in Delhi with state complicity in February 2020, and other anti-Muslim measures pointed to the fact how Muslims in India were being systematically demonised, dispossessed, marginalised and subjected to targeted violence.

It said that the OIC had passed numerous resolutions, condemning the odious act of demolishing the historic Mosque. “Recently, at the 47th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers held at Niamey, the OIC called upon the Indian government to take immediate steps to implement its commitment to reconstruct the Babri Mosque on its original site and to punish those responsible for its demolition, prevent the construction of temple on its site, take immediate steps to ensure the protection of the other 3,000 mosques, and ensure the safety and protection of the Muslims and Islamic holy sites throughout India,” read the statement.

Published in Dawn, December 7th, 2020

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