Culprits 'will not escape justice': Pakistan rejects India's remarks on Karachi Hindu temple vandalism
Pakistan has rejected remarks made by a spokesperson of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) accusing Islamabad of "systemic persecution of religious minorities" after a Hindu temple was vandalised in Karachi.
"They (perpetrators) will not escape justice and the Government will deal with them with the full force of law," the Foreign Office said in a statement on Thursday night, adding that an FIR had already been registered against the assailants and efforts were underway to identify and arrest them.
On Wednesday, unidentified men attacked a Hindu temple in the Korangi area of Karachi, desecrating an idol. According to a first information report (FIR), the miscreants pelted stones at an idol and threatened workers at the site.
On Thursday, Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab promised that the perpetrators would be brought to justice and the temple would be repaired.
Subsequently, at a press conference in Delhi on Thursday, Indian official Arindam Bagchi said: "We have noted the recent incident of vandalization of a Hindu temple in Karachi. We believe this is another act in the systemic persecution of religious minorities. We have conveyed our protest to the Government of Pakistan. Again urge it to ensure the safety, security and well being of the minority communities."
In its statement, the Foreign Office (FO) rejected Bagchi's remarks. "Unlike the violence against the Muslim community that is orchestrated by religious fanatics who enjoy full patronage of India’s state machinery, the Government of Pakistan is seized of this matter and action is being taken against the perpetrators."
The Government of India, the FO continued, would be well advised to introspect and ensure the protection of the fundamental rights, lives, and places of worship of minorities across India, particularly Muslims who were facing brutal attacks from the proponents of ‘Hindutva’ holding on to the reins of power in the country.
"Furthermore, unequivocal condemnation by the BJP top leadership and the Indian government, as well as decisive and demonstrable action against the BJP officials responsible for making sacrilegious remarks recently would be the first step towards healing the suffering of Muslims in India and the sentiments of Muslims worldwide," it added.