Pakistan on Monday condemned the construction and consecration of the Ram Mandir on the site of the demolished Babri Masjid in India’s Ayodhya, stressing this was the latest indication of growing majoritarianism in the neighboring country.
In a statement, the Foreign Office recalled the centuries-old Babri Masjid was demolished on Dec. 6, 1992 by a mob of extremists, with India’s judiciary “deplorably” acquitting the criminals responsible and allowing the construction of a temple on the site of the destroyed mosque. “Developments of the last 31 years, leading to today’s consecration ceremony, are indicative of growing majoritarianism in India. These constitute an important facet of the ongoing efforts for social, economic and political marginalization of the Indian Muslims,” it said.
Describing the construction of a Hindu temple of the site of a demolished mosque as a “blot” on the face of India’s democracy, it noted a growing list of mosques, including the Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi and Shahi Eidgah Mosque in Mathura, facing similar threat of desecration and destruction.
“The rising tide of Hindutva ideology in India poses a serious threat to religious harmony and regional peace,” it said, highlighting that the chief ministers of India’s Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh states were on record as citing the Babri Masjid’s demolition or inauguration of the Ram Mandir as the first step towards reclaiming parts of Pakistan.
Urging the global community to take note of growing Islamophobia, hate speech and hate crimes in India, the Foreign Office called on the U.N. and other relevant international organizations to play their role in saving Islamic heritage sites in India from extremist groups. They should also, it added, ensure the protection of the religious and cultural rights of Indian minorities.
“Pakistan urges the Government of India to ensure the safety and security of religious minorities, including Muslims and their holy places,” it stressed.
On Monday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi heralded the inauguration of the Ram Mandir as a “new era” for India during a ceremony attended by around 7,000 people, including prominent celebrities.