12/31/2020, 14.16
PAKISTAN
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Karak Hindu temple destroyed by Muslim extremists while police looked on (VIDEO)

by Shafique Khokhar

A mob attacked the temple, vandalised it and then set it on fire. This is but the latest in a long series of attacks on temples and churches. A terrorist attack planned for Christmas Day was foiled in Peshawar. For human rights activist Naveed Walter, it is necessary to implement policies that support religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence.

Karak – KP (AsiaNews) – A historic Hindu temple in Teri, a village in Karak district (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), was destroyed yesterday.

A mob of Muslim extremists, stirred up by Islamic leaders, vandalised the sacred building, smashing things with hammers and setting it on fire. According to eyewitnesses, police did not intervene as the mob attacked and destroyed the temple.

“This type of attack is not a new,” bemoaned Naveed Walter, president of Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP). “It goes on repeatedly against all minorities, against various temples and churches, without the authorities doing nothing to contain it. Even the role of the police is the same: quiet and silent.”

For the activist it has now “become easy to rouse crowds to attack temples or other religious sites. It is necessary to counter such attacks and bring to justice the elements that stir up the crowds, as well as those who physically participate in the violence”.

This year alone saw several incidents. Last July, Islamic extremist groups blocked the construction of the Shri Krishna Mandir Hindu temple in Islamabad. Although authorisation was given to resume work, which started on 21 December, the project continues to received threats.

On 10 October, another Hindu temple, the Shri Ram Mandir in Sindh province, was vandalised.

In Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, everyone remembers the terrorist attack on the All Saints Church on 22 September 2013 that killed more than a hundred people

Another attack planned for Christmas day was foiled by the authorities just in time.

“If we add abductions, forced conversions, forced marriages of Hindu and Christian girls to all the violence, we realise that religious hostility, discrimination, assassinations are routine practices,” Naveed Walter said. “What we really need is take step to promote religious tolerance and an atmosphere of peaceful coexistence.”

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