Foreign Office claims action is part of BJP-led Indian government’s ‘perpetual targeting’ of Muslims and their places of worship
Pakistan on Tuesday condemned the “unjust demolition” of the Bilal Mosque in India’s Haryana state, describing it as yet another attack on the rights of minority Muslims.
“Pakistan strongly condemns unjust demolition of Bilal Mosque in Haryana by Indian authorities in consort with pliant judiciary under BJP-RSS regime,” read a statement issued by spokesman Asim Iftikhar Ahmad. “[Pakistan] continues to urge [the] international community to hold India accountable for systematic human rights violations of minorities, especially Muslims,” it added.
Reportedly, Indian authorities demolished the ancient Bilal Mosque in Faridabad, Haryana on the orders of the Indian Supreme Court, which had ordered the demolition of all encroachments on forest land.
According to the statement, the “Hindutva-driven BJP-RSS combine’s perpetual targeting of Muslims and their places of worship” is an “indelible blot on the so-called ‘largest democracy’.” It referred to the Indian Supreme Court’s controversial judgement of November 2019 in which it had allowed “extremist Hindu parties” to construct Ram Mandir at the site of the historic Babri Masjid, which was demolished by Hindu extremists in 1992.
“The Indian judiciary was also culpable in acquitting the criminals who had organized the destruction of the Babri Masjid in public glare,” it said, adding that Muslims and their places of worship had also been attacked “with state complicity” during anti-Muslim pogroms in Gujarat in 2002 and in Delhi in February 2020, without any judicial accountability.
The targeting of Muslims and their religious sites and cultural heritage continues unabated in India-held Kashmir, it added.
“We call upon India to ensure safety, security and well-being of its minorities, including Muslims and their places of worship and cultural sites,” it said.
The Pakistan condemnation came the same day that the Sindh government demolished, in Karachi, a church—also on orders of its Supreme Court, which had sought the removal of all encroachments in the provincial capital.