As Pakistan co-sponsored a resolution at the United Nations on safeguarding religious sites, India, which has stood by the resolution from the beginning, found it "ironical" citing the past record of attacks on Hindu temples in Pakistan.
Taken up at the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, India joined the consensus for adoption of the draft resolution that aims at, "promoting a culture of peace and tolerance to safeguard religious sites." However, India has raised concerns over Pakistan being a part of it too since the attacks on temples are aplenty on its soil.
"It is a matter of great irony that the country where the most recent attack and demolition of a Hindu temple took place in a series of such attacks and where the rights of minorities are being emasculated is one of the co-sponsors of the resolution under the agenda item, 'Culture of Peace.' The resolution cannot be smokescreen for countries like Pakistan to hide behind," India explained its position in a written statement.
The attack on Hindu temple
In December 2020, the historic Karak Hindu Temple was attacked in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Earlier this month, India had expressed "serious concerns" over the demolition. In a written statement sent by the Ministry of External Affairs to Pakistan High Commission, India said it expected their government to share details of its investigation into the attack. The temple was set on fire and demolished, allegedly by activists of the Jamaat ulema e Islam (Jul-F) on the instigation by a local cleric.
The demolition which happened to have been filmed, the police and the authorities had made arrests of around 24 people out of the total 100 allegedly involved in the attack. As per reports, the cleric and leader of Jul-F were among those arrested.
Pakistan Supreme Court steps in
After the incident was condemned worldwide, the Pakistan Supreme Court in a hearing on January 5 directed the authorities to start the restoration process of the Karak Temple and also issued timeline of two weeks for the process to be initiated.
Not the first instance of demolition
This is the not the first time the Karak temple has been under attack from radicals and local villagers. Back in 1997 too, the temple was demolished by religious fanatics. In 2014 too, the Pakistan Supreme Court had ordered the restoration of the temple by a qualified conservation architect.
In August last year too, an old Hanuman temple in Lyari, Karachi was demolished. After protests by Hindus from the region around the demolished remains of the temple, the police had sealed the area. As per reports in the Pakistani media, a builder had purchased the land around the temple and wanted to build a residential complex demolishing the temple.