Hindus are the largest non-Muslim majority in pakistan country, which gained independence from British rule in 1947, when the subcontinent was partitioned into Muslim-majority Pakistan and Hindu-majority India.
In Peshawar Videos made by locals at the scene and shared with Reuters showed a crowd breaking apart blocks of the temple structure’s walls using stones and sledgehammers, as dark smoke from a large fire billowed into the sky.
Videos made by locals at the scene and shared with Reuters showed a crowd breaking apart blocks of the temple structure’s walls using stones and sledgehammers, as dark smoke from a large fire billowed into the sky.
In response Pakistani police arrested 14 people in overnight raids after a Hindu temple was set on fire and demolished by a mob led by supporters of a radical Islamist party, officials said Thursday.
The temple’s destruction Wednesday in the northwestern town of Karak drew condemnation from human rights activists and the minority Hindu community.
Local police said they detained at least 14 people in overnight raids and more raids were underway to arrest individuals who participated or provoked the mob to demolish the temple.
The attack happened after members of the Hindu community received permission from local authorities to renovate the temple.
According to witnesses, the mob was led by a local cleric and supporters of Pakistan’s radical Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party,
Pakistan’s minister for religious affairs, Noorul Haq Qadri, called the attack on the temple “a conspiracy against sectarian harmony.”
He took to Twitter Thursday, saying attacks on places of worship of minority religious groups are not allowed in Islam and “protection of religious freedom of minorities is our religious, constitutional, moral and national responsibility.”
The incident comes weeks after the government allowed Hindu residents to build a new temple in Islamabad on the recommendation of a council of clerics.
Although Muslims and Hindus generally live peacefully together in Pakistan, there have been other attacks on Hindu temples in recent years. Most of Pakistan’s minority Hindus migrated to India in 1947 when India was divided by Britain’s government.