Timing of Ayodhya verdict diverted attention from Kartarpur opening: Pak

Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Pakistan, UN, Article 370
Qureshi on Sunday also warned that "spoilers" could try to sabotage the peace process in Afghanistan.

As the much awaited Ayodhya verdict and inauguration of Kartarpur corridor clashed on Saturday (November 9), Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi objected to the timing of the Ayodhya verdict saying he was “deeply saddened” at the “insensitivity” shown at such a joyous occasion.

The Indian Supreme Court in a unanimous verdict on Saturday cleared the way for the construction of a Ram Temple at the disputed site at Ayodhya, and directed the Centre to allot a 5-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a mosque.

In one of the most important and most anticipated judgements in India’s history, a 5-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi put an end to the more than a century old dispute that has torn the social fabric of the nation.

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“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.

“You should have taken part in this happy occasion and not attempted to divert attention. The dispute is a sensitive issue and should not have been made part of this happy day,” he said, referring to the opening of 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 Punjabs Gurdaspur district.

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”.

Qureshi said Pakistan would issue its response after going over the judgement in detail.

Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Hussain termed the verdict as “shameful, disgusting, illegal and immoral.”

Commenting on the judgment, 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, state-run Radio Pakistan reported.

She said Pakistan is guaranting the rights of minorities by opening the Kartarpur corridor but India on the other hand is subjecting minorities, including Muslims, to oppression.

(With inputs from PTI)

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