Pak Reactions to Babri Masjid Ram Janambhoomi Verdict – Jinnah Vindicated
Reactions to the Indian Supreme Court verdict on Babri-Ram Janambhoomi dispute were on expected lines dictated more by predilections rather than rational analysis of the judgement.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement on 9 November intervened in the internal affairs of India and said, “We have noted with deep concern the decision of the Indian Supreme Court regarding the historic Babri Masjid. The decision has, once again, failed to uphold the demands of justice”.
The Statement claimed that, “This decision has shredded the veneer of so-called secularism of India by making clear that minorities in India are no longer safe; they have to fear for their beliefs and for their places of worship. A process of re-writing history is underway in India in order to recast it in the image of a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ in pursuance of the Hindutva ideology. It is also fast affecting India’s major institutions”.
The general opinion in Pakistan on the decision by the Supreme Court of India on the long pending Babri Masjid – Ram Janambhoomi dispute on 09 November the same day as the Kartarpur Corridor was on expected lines – “travesty of justice”.
While there were some informed pieces on the decision which placed legal factoids but these too veered to the same conclusion that the Court had decided in favour of the majority community.
Shahbaz Sharif , President of the PML N and leader of the opposition in the parliament tweeted
“Indian SC judgment in land dispute of Babri Masjid represents travesty of justice. It is yet another sign of how Saffron ideology is eating into the vitals of Indian society & entire secularism project is collapsing brick by brick. Indian Muslims are being pushed against the wall”
The Daily Times in an editorial went on to predict that the, “decision will be rejected by the Muslim population of India since the court referred to disputed historical references claiming that Ayodhya was the birthplace of Ram”.
That the Court Verdict has been largely accepted by the majority of Muslims including the litigant bodies has not received sufficient attention.
Some notable have even claimed that the judgment vindicated the decision by Jinnah on establishing a separate state of Pakistan.
Abbas Nasir, @abbasnasir59 former editor of the Dawn tweeted, “BJP and the Indian Supreme Court joining hands to vindicate Jinnah. Well done”.
The Dawn news headlined the editorial on 11 June as Travesty of Justice and went on to state that, “verdict, that is likely to affect the already fraught relationship between India’s Muslim and Hindu communities”.
That there has been no open resistance to the decision by any side including the Muslim clerics who attended along with other religious leaders a congregation at the house of the National Security Adviser Ajit Doval on 10 November may have escaped attention of the eminent editors and correspondents of the Dawn regarded as one of the balanced channels in Pakistan.
Dawn went on to summarise the reactions in Pakistan and quotes the Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari as stating, “end of facade of secular India”.
As per the Dawn, MNA Asad Umar, a former finance minister warned that “extremist views […] are now becoming pervasive in the state institutions of India also”.
He further said: “As extremist, xenophobic thought takes control of Indian state and society, nuclear India emerges as biggest threat to global peace,” he claimed. Even JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman issued a statement and said: “We condemn the Indian Supreme Court’s verdict […] it reflects narrow-mindedness. India has failed in protecting its minorities.”
Many leaders in Pakistan compared opening of the Kartarpur corridor at the initiative of Islamabad seen as a very favourable decision to build inter community harmony with the Supreme verdict and claimed that this was a dark day for Indian Muslims.
Dawn quotes, Lawyer Taimur Malik criticising the Ayodhya verdict and said: “On this 9th day of Nov 2019, Pakistan’s civil and military institutions have won the hearts of an entire religious population by opening #KartarpurCorridor while India’s once famously independent judiciary has failed the country’s main religious minority through #AyodhyaJudgement.”
In the context of ongoing Indo Pak acrimony the decision of the Supreme Court on the Babri Ram Janabhoomi issue may create an additional official point of contention like Article 370, but will only add to bitterness increasing the cleavage on fundamentals such as secularism versus religious nationalist state identity.