Pakistan criticises
consecration of temple
on site of Babri
mosque in Ayodhya

0
19

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office (FO) on Monday criticised the construction and consecration of ‘Ram Mandir’ on the site of the demolished Babri Mosque in Ayodhya, saying that the temple “will remain a blot on the face of India’s democracy for the times to come”.

India’s Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the temple in flowing golden-coloured traditional dress, unveiled the black stone idol of the deity Ram in the heart of the 50-metre temple, built on grounds where a mosque stood for centuries before it was torn down in 1992 by Hindu zealots incited by members of his party.

Reaction – Page-1

In a statement issued today, the FO said the developments of the last 31 years in India, leading to today’s ceremony, were “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,” it said.

“A temple built on the site of a demolished mosque will remain a blot on the face of India’s democracy for the times to come. Notably, there is a growing list of mosques, including the Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi and Shahi Eidgah Mosque in Mathura, facing similar threats of desecration and destruction,” the FO highlighted.

Reaction – Page-2

It added that the rising tide of ‘Hindutva’ ideology in India posed 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 FO said.

It called on the international community to take cognisance of the “growing Islamophobia, hate speech and hate crimes” in India, urging the United Nations and other international organisations to play their part in “saving Islamic heritage sites in India from extremist groups” and protect the religious and cultural rights of minorities.

Statement

“Pakistan urges the government of India to ensure the safety and security of religious minorities, including Muslims and their holy places,” the FOP statement concluded.

Iranian foreign minister’s visit

The Foreign Office (FO) said on Monday that Iran’s foreign minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian would visit Pakistan on January 29.

The visit comes days after tensions escalated between the two countries following an Iranian air strike in Pakistan, leading Islamabad to strike terrorist hideouts in the neighbouring country’s Sistan-Baluchestan province.

“Following the telephone conversation between the foreign ministers of Pakistan and the Islamic Republic of Iran, it has been mutually agreed that ambassadors of both countries may return to their respective posts by January 26, 2024,” the FO said in a statement.

The FO said that that the Iranian foreign minister would travel to Pakistan on Jan 29 at the invitation of FM Jilani.