Islamabad urges New Delhi to ensure safety, security, protection of Muslims and their places of worship
- Hindu mob demolished Ayodhya’s Babri Mosque in December 1992.
- Anti-Muslim frenzy in India remains unabated, laments Pakistan.
- Int’l community urged to take notice of increasing Islamophobia.
Pakistan on Wednesday called on the international community to take cognisance of increasing Islamophobia, hate speech, and hate crimes against Muslims in India on the 31st anniversary of the demolition of the Babri mosque.
“Today is a sad reminder of the demolition of the historic ‘Babri Masjid’ in India. On this day, 31 years ago, a mob of Hindu zealots demolished this centuries-old Mosque in Ayodhya in full view of Indian law enforcement authorities,” a statement from the Foreign Office (FO) said.
The statement refers to the demolition of the centuries-old Babri mosque by a Hindu mob in the Indian holy town of Ayodhya in December 1992.
The site has been a point of contention between Hindus and Muslims. The mosque was constructed at the site under India’s first Mughal ruler, Babur in 1528.
Meanwhile, Hindu scripture Ramayana reportedly mentions Ayodhya — the city where the mosque was located — as the birthplace of the Hindu god-king Ram.
Many Hindus believe that the Babri mosque was built on the exact birthplace of Lord Ram.
Hindu and Muslim groups filed separate claims over the site and the structure. In 1989, the Allahabad High Court ordered the maintenance of the status quo.
In 1991, when the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of current Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in Uttar Pradesh, the campaign for the construction of a Ram temple grew.
On December 6, 1992, a group of Hindus who had gathered for a rally near the site climbed the mosque and started damaging the domes with axes and hammers. Within a short time, the entire structure was razed to the ground.
The Indian Supreme Court, in its 2019 decision, ruled that the disputed Babri Mosque land should be given to the Hindus while ordering the Muslims to be allotted an alternate land as a replacement for the destroyed Babri Mosque.
The top court’s decision paved the way for Modi who then announced the construction of the Ram Temple — scheduled to open for devotees in January 2024 — at the disputed site.
Several mosques at risk due to Hindu extremism
Recalling that India’s superior judiciary not only acquitted the criminals responsible for this hateful act but also allowed the construction of a temple on the site of the demolished Mosque, the FO highlighted that the anti-Muslim frenzy that caused the Babri Mosque’s destruction remains unabated.
“A few weeks ago, the Chief Minister of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh publicly cited the Mosque’s demolition as a template to reclaim parts of Pakistan,” the office said.
“Elements belonging to the ruling dispensation in India continue to incite hysteria and hatred against Muslims […] Hindu supremacist groups are demanding conversion of many other mosques into temples, including the Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi and Shahi Eidgah Mosque in Mathura,” the foreign office said.
It further lamented the demolition of several mosques and shrines under the garb of various administrative measures or judicial processes so far.
Islamabad has called on New Delhi to ensure the safety, security, and protection of minorities, particularly Muslims and their places of worship.