Pakistanis react to suspicious timing of Ayodhya temple verdict


The Indian Supreme Court (SC) on Saturday announced its verdict in a decades-old land title dispute between Muslims and Hindus over plans to build a Hindu temple on a site where Hindu hard-liners demolished a 16th-century mosque in 1992.

The verdict was issued hours before the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor, which allows Indian Sikhs to arrive in Pakistan without a visa for pilgrimage to the shrine of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism.

Reacting to the decision, several politicians and journalists raised questions on the verdict’s timing, criticising the move which would further dent the already tainted relationship between the two neighbouring countries.

Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari said that the verdict marked the “end of secular India’s facade”.

In a tweet, Mazari said that India’s top court “[accepted] that desecration of Mosque was [against] the law and [held] forth on control of inner and outer areas etc. the core of judgement is: disputed land to be given to a Board of Trustees to build Ram Mandir. Muslims to be given alternate land!”

“So basically Hindutva wins as SC creates a Trust to be handed land to build temple saying mosque cannot be on that site! End of facade of secular India. Indian SC in tune with Hindutva narrative of Modi!,” she added in a follow-up tweet.

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif called the verdict a “travesty of justice”.

“Indian SC judgement in land dispute of Babri Masjid represents travesty of justice,” he tweeted. “It is yet another sign of how saffron ideology is eating into the vitals of Indian society and entire secularism project is collapsing brick by brick. Indian Muslims are being pushed against the wall.”

Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry, in a tweet, termed the verdict as “shameful, disgusting, illegal and immoral”.

Member of National Assembly (MNA) Asad Umer also took to Twitter, warning that “extremist views […] are now becoming pervasive in the state institutions of India also. As extremist, xenophobic thought takes control of Indian state and society, nuclear India emerges as the biggest threat to global peace.”

While speaking to a local news channel,  Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, also expressed his suspicion’s regarding the timing of the verdict. “Couldn’t it (the verdict) wait for a couple of days? I believe that extreme insensitivity has been shown on a happy occasion and I am greatly saddened,” he said.

Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) Senator Sherry Rehman pointed out that while Pakistan was opening the Kartarpur Corridor for Indian Sikhs, the Indian Supreme Court had announced a verdict against the Muslim community.

“This is a reflection of a new India that we should understand. There is no pretence that their (India’s) constitution or any institution will provide any protection to Muslims. You have seen how they are treating non-citizens in Assam. On the other hand, Pakistan’s treatment towards its non-citizens is completely opposite where [the state] wants their integration in society,” she opined while speaking on a local news channel.

PPP Senator Rehman Malik was also sceptic of the timing of the verdict and said: “PM Modi/RSS once again demonstrated anti-Muslim syndromes and anti-Sikh sentiments to have the judgement to replace the temple/Mander with Babari Masjid on the day of the opening of “Kartarpur Sikh holy corridor” today (sic). This is the anti-peace message from PM Modi to Pakistan today.”

Similarly, Sindh governor compared Pakistan’s actions versus India’s continuous vile and hate propagating actions.

“What a shameful decision by Indian Supreme Court. Pakistan on the other hand is restoring Kartapur while India is destroying historical mosque. @ImranKhanPTI showing gesture towards minorities and @narendramodi proving his loyalties with RSS. Indians must reject this extremism,” he tweeted.

Jamiat Ulema-e Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman in a statement issued on Saturday said: “We condemn the Indian Supreme Court’s verdict […] it reflects narrow-mindedness. India has failed in protecting its minorities.”