Foreign Office statement claims move is part of Delhi’s ‘Hindutva’ agenda
Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Wednesday slammed the Indian government’s decision to proceed with the construction of a Hindu temple at the former site of the historic Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.
Last November, the Indian Supreme Court had allowed the construction of a temple at the site and directed authorities to provide alternate land for a mosque to local Muslim groups. The Mughal-era mosque was destroyed by Hindu hardliners in December 1992, sparking massive Hindu-Muslim riots that left some 2,000 people dead.
Issuing the statement, Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said Delhi was advancing its “Hindutva” agenda as the world was grappling “with the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.” She claimed the May 26 launch of construction activities on a temple in Ayodhya was “another step in this direction and the government and people of Pakistan condemn it in the strongest terms.”
According to Farooqui, the commencement of the construction is “a sequel to the controversial decision given by the Indian Supreme Court on Nov. 9, 2019, which completely failed to uphold the demands of justice.” Shed added: “The [Indian] Supreme Court’s verdict shredded the veneer of so-called ‘secularism’ of India by making clear that minorities are not safe in India and that they have to fear for their lives, beliefs and places of worship.”
The statement summarized recent developments in India—the Citizenship Amendment Act, the National Register of Citizens, and targeted killings of Muslims—that Farooqui claimed are illustrative of how minority Muslims in the country are being marginalized, dispossessed, demonized and subjected to violence.
“Frequent mob lynchings by cow vigilantes, and sinister schemes like ‘ghar wapsi’, ‘love jihad’, and ‘corona jihad’ are part of this mindset. The right-wing ‘Hindutva’ agenda, which appears to have permeated state institutions, is moving fast towards turning India into a ‘Hindu Rashtra’,” the statement added.
Today’s India, claimed the statement, was under the sway of the RSS-BJP combine and was driven by a “toxic mix of an extremist ideology and hegemonic ambitions.” This has resulted in a growing threat to the safety and well-being of minorities in India and to peace and security across the globe, it added.
“The rising tide of religious bigotry in India is well-documented by international human rights organizations, regularly highlighted by international media and raised in a number of world parliaments,” it said. “The international community must hold India to account for the continuous violations of human rights of minorities and urge the Indian government to take immediate steps to ensure that the rights of all minorities are fully protected and promoted as per India’s obligations under international instruments to which it is a party,” it added.