Mob led by Islamists demolishes Hindu temple in NW Pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — A mob led by members of Pakistan’s radical Islamist party demolished a Hindu temple Wednesday after setting it on fire in a deeply conservative northwestern town, a senior police official said.

The incident in the town of Karak drew condemnation from human rights activists and Pakistan’s minister for human rights, Shireen Mazari. Mazari took to Twitter to condemn the burning of the temple and urged law enforcement officials to ensure the arrest of those involved.

District police chief Irfan Ullah said police detained several people over their involvement in the attack on the temple.

Witnesses said the mob, led by activists and local leaders of the radical Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party, attacked the temple after local Hindus received permission from authorities to renovate it.

The incident comes weeks after the government allowed minority Hindus 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 the Pakistan’s minority Hindus migrated to India in 1947 when India was divided by Britain’s government.

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