October 10, 2023
ISLAMABAD – Pakistan on Monday condemned the “highly irresponsible remarks” made by the chief minister of India’s Uttar Pradesh on “taking back Sindhu (Sindh)” and said that such statements “manifest a revisionist and expansionist mindset”.
A day earlier, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath said that if Ram Janmabhoomi — the site of the Babri Masjid which has now been turned into a temple — could be “taken back after 500 years, then there is no reason why we cannot take back Sindhu”, NDTV reported.
“After 500 years, a grand temple of Lord Ram is being constructed in Ayodhya. Ramlala will be seated again in his temple by the prime minister in January. If Ram Janmabhoomi can be taken back after 500 years, there is no reason why we cannot take back Sindhu,” the report quoted Adityanath as saying.
The Babri Masjid stood on the site in the northern town of Ayodhya for almost 500 years until it was demolished by Hindu zealots in 1992. The demolition sparked riots across the country in which 2,000 people, mainly Muslims, died — some of independent India’s worst sectarian violence.
Devout Hindus believe that Lord Ram, the warrior god, was born in Ayodhya some 7,000 years ago but that a mosque was constructed on top of his birthplace in the 16th century.
In November, India’s top court after a legal battle lasting decades awarded the site to Hindus, giving Muslims another location to build a new mosque.
In response to the Indian minister’s remarks today, Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said: “We condemn the highly irresponsible remarks made by the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, a key member of India’s ruling dispensation and a follower of the bigoted Hindutva ideology, at the National Sindhi Convention in Lucknow.”
She said it was “equally condemnable” that the “so-called” reclamation of the Ram Janmabhoomi was cited by Adityanath as a template for reclaiming a region that constituted part of Pakistan.
“History bears witness that a Hindu supremacist mob had brazenly demolished the historic Babri Mosque on December 6, 1992 to take back the claimed birthplace of Lord Rama in Ayodhya,” the FO spokesperson recalled.
Baloch stated that the Indian minister’s “provocative remarks” were inspired by the “gratuitous assertion of ‘Akhand Bharat’ (undivided India)”.
“These remarks manifest a revisionist and expansionist mindset that seeks to subjugate the identity and culture of not only India’s neighbouring countries but also its own religious minorities. They also reflect a perverse view of history.
“It is a matter of grave concern that such ideas are being increasingly peddled by individuals belonging to the BJP-RSS combined to further their divisive and parochial political agenda,” Baloch said.
The FO spokesperson added that instead of nurturing “hegemonic and expansionist ambitions”, Indian leaders should resolve disputes with neighbouring countries and work with them to build a peaceful and prosperous South Asia.