Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qureshi today criticised the Supreme Court verdict on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit. He opined that the timing of the verdict coinciding as it did with the opening of the Kartarpur corridor was “insensitive” and “deeply saddening”.
A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court today passed the verdict for the case, clearing the way for the construction of a Ram Temple on the disputed site in Ayodhya. The Sunni Waqf Board will be awarded a 5-acre plot for building a mosque at a different location.
According to a report by the state-run Radio Pakistan, Qureshi also called the Indian apex court’s judgement an apparent reflection of the “bigoted ideology of Modi government”. Qureshi questioned the timing of the verdict and said that India should have taken part in the happy occasion that was the opening of the Kartarpur corridor and not attempted to “divert attention”.
"Could it (verdict) not have waited a few days? I am deeply saddened at the insensitivity shown at such a joyous occasion," Qureshi was quoted as saying by the DawnNewsTV.
The much-awaited Kartarpur corridor, which links Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, the final resting place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Punjab's Gurdaspur district was opened today by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Indian end.
The foreign minister said that Muslims are "already under a lot of pressure in India and this decision of the Indian court will further increase pressure on them". Pakistan, he said, would issue its response after going over the judgement in detail.
Other Pakistani officials have also joined him in criticising the verdict. Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Hussain termed the verdict as "shameful, disgusting, illegal and immoral."
According to Radio Pakistan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan said the Indian apex court has given the message that it is not independent. She added that while Pakistan was guaranteeing the rights of minorities by opening the Kartarpur corridor, India was subjecting minorities, including Muslims, to oppression.
While the Kartarpur corridor may well be considered a step forward, opression of minorities is not absent in Pakistan, if one goes by the news. Over the years there have been many recorded cases of violence against Hindus and other minorities in Pakistan. A notable example is the Asia Bibi blasphemy case which saw a Christian woman spend 8 years on death row for blasphemy before being freed. More recently, there was the rape and subsequent murder of Pakistani Hindu student Nimrita Kumari.