Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday condemned the attack on a Hindu temple in the country’s Punjab province and assured that action will be taken against the culprits.
“Strongly condemn attack on Ganesh Mandir in Bhung, RYK yesterday. I have already asked IG Punjab to ensure the arrest of all culprits and take action against any police negligence. The government will also restore the Mandir,” Pakistan PM tweeted.
Khan’s remark comes as India today summoned Pakistan charge d’affaires and lodged a strong protest on the attack on the temple located in Bhong city of Rahim Yar Khan district.
In widely circulated video clips on social media, attackers were seen carrying sticks, stones, and bricks with which they damaged idols in the temple while raising religious slogans.
Earlier today, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that Pakistani charge d’affaires was summoned and a firm protest was lodged “expressing our grave concerns at this reprehensible incident and the continued attacks on the freedom of religion of the minority community and their places of religious worship”.
India called upon Pakistan to ensure the safety, security and well-being of its minority communities.
“We have seen disturbing reports on social media of a violent mob attack on a Ganesha temple in Rahim Yar Khan in Punjab province of Pakistan. The mob attacked the temple, desecrated the holy idols and set fire to the premises. In addition to attacking the temple, the mob has also attacked surrounding houses belonging to the Hindu community,” he said.
Bagchi said incidents of violence, discrimination and persecution against the minority communities including attacks on places of worship have continued unabated in Pakistan.
“Within the last year itself, various temples and Gurudwaras have been attacked including the Mata Rani Bhatiyani Mandir in Sindh in January 2020, Gurudwara Sri Janam Sthan in January 2020, a Hindu temple in Karak in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in December 2020,” he said.
The spokesperson added that these incidents are occurring at an alarming rate and the Pakistan government have stood by idly and completely failed in preventing these attacks.