A very shameful case of religious intolerance has been reported in Pakistan. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Wednesday, a mob of over a hundred people ransacked and set fire to a Hindu temple. The incident is from Terry village in Karak district where a mob led by local clerics destroyed the temple. Now 26 people have been arrested in this case, including the leader of the radical Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party, Rahmat Salam Khattak. It is noteworthy that Hindu community is the largest minority of Pakistan.
A crowd led by supporters of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Party (Fazl ur Rehman Group) protested the temple expansion work and demolished the old structure as well as new construction of the temple. A video clip of this incident is also going viral on social media. In this video clip, a violent mob can be seen destroying the walls and roof of the temple. Human rights activists living in Pakistan and the rest of the world have condemned the move against the minority Hindu community.
Pakistan’s federal parliamentary secretary for human rights Lalchand Malhi has strongly condemned it. He said that some groups are active to carry out such anti-social activities to discredit Pakistan, which the government will not tolerate at all. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmud Khan has described it as an unfortunate incident. Khan pledged to protect the places of worship from such incidents.
The leader of the Hindu community, Peshawar, Harun Sarab Diyal said that Imran Khan talks about promoting religious tourism, but in Pakistan itself, the places of worship of minorities are not safe. He said, ‘The Council of Islamic Ideology should take cognizance of this incident.’ According to an official estimate, around 7.5 million Hindus live in Pakistan. However, according to the community, Hindus have a population of over 90 lakhs in the country.
Mubashir Zaidi, a Karachi journalist, tweeted, ‘A mob led by local clerics destroyed a Hindu temple in Karak district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The Hindus had taken permission from the administration to enlarge the temple, but the Maulvis mobilized and destroyed the temple. The police-administration remained a silent spectator.
London’s human rights activist Shama Junejo tweeted, ‘This is the new Pakistan! The Hindu temple was destroyed in the city of Karak in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa under the rule of the PTI government. The police did not try to stop the mob as they were shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’. An embarrassing day, which is beyond reproach.
According to the Daily Times report, Jamiat Ulema-e Islam-Fazl, a Sunni Deobandi political party of Pakistan, organized a rally near the temple. Where aggressive speeches were made and after which the outraged crowd moved towards the temple, where the temple was fiercely vandalized and set on fire.