Foreign Office in Islamabad issues statement marking 28th anniversary of Babri demolition, calls on UN, other global agencies to work for preserving Islamic heritage sites in India
NEW DELHI – In a move sure to further strain the Indo-Pak ties, Islamabad on Sunday called on New Delhi to ensure safety, security and protection of minorities, particularly Muslims and their places of worship. The government of Prime Minister Imran Khan also reminded the Indian government of its responsibilities under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international instruments, including the recommendations of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
The statement, issued by the Foreign Office in Islamabad, marked the 28th anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in 1992. “Today is a sad reminder of the demolition of the historic Babri Masjid in India. On this day, 28 years ago, Hindu zealots of the RSS-inspired BJP, backed by the state apparatus, demolished the centuries-old mosque in Ayodhya in an abominable act of anti-Muslim frenzy and blatant violation of religious and international norms,” read the statement, according to Dawn newspaper.
Pakistan also called upon the international community, the United Nations and relevant international organisations to play their role in preserving the Islamic heritage sites in India from the ‘extremist Hindutva’ regime and ensure protection of minorities in India.
The Foreign Office said that painful scenes of the demolition of Babri Mosque in 1992 still remained fresh in the minds of not only Muslims but all conscionable persons in the world. “The new illegitimate structure, which the Hindutva-driven BJP has campaigned for and is bent upon constructing as part of its agenda of converting India into a ‘Hindu Rashtra’, is a scar on the face of so-called ‘largest democracy’ in the world,” it added.
The statement questioned the “flawed judgment” of the Indian Supreme Court in the Babri case in November 2019, and the recent “shameful acquittal” of the “criminals” responsible for demolishing the mosque in 1992. It also raised issues such as construction of a temple on the ruins of the Babri Mosque, Citizenship Amendment Act, the looming National Register of Citizens and anti-Muslim riots of northeast Delhi in February this year.
The statement also mentioned numerous resolutions passed by the OIC. “Recently, at the 47th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers held at Niamey, the OIC called upon the Indian government to take immediate steps to implement its commitment to reconstruct the Babri Mosque on its original site and to punish those responsible for its demolition, prevent the construction of temple on its site, take immediate steps to ensure the protection of the other 3,000 mosques, and ensure the safety and protection of the Muslims and Islamic holy sites throughout India,” read the statement.