India has summoned Pakistan charge d’affaires and lodged a strong protest on the attack on the Hindu temple in Pakistan’s Punjab province, as per Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.

The attack on the temple took place in Bhong city of Rahim Yar Khan district. In widely circulated video clips on social media, attackers were seen carrying sticks, stones, and bricks. They damaged the deities while raising religious slogans.

Bagchi said, on Thursday, that Pakistani charge d’affaires was summoned and a firm protest was lodged “expressing our grave concerns at this reprehensible incident and the continued attacks on the freedom of religion of the minority community and their places of religious worship”.

India called upon Pakistan to ensure the safety, security and well-being of its minority communities.

“We have seen disturbing reports on social media of a violent mob attack on a Ganesha temple in Rahim Yar Khan in Punjab province of Pakistan. The mob attacked the temple, desecrated the holy idols and set fire to the premises. In addition to attacking the temple, the mob has also attacked surrounding houses belonging to the Hindu community,” he said.

Bagchi said incidents of violence, discrimination and persecution against the minority communities including attacks on places of worship have continued unabated in Pakistan.

“Within the last year itself, various temples and Gurudwaras have been attacked including the Mata Rani Bhatiyani Mandir in Sindh in January 2020, Gurudwara Sri Janam Sthan in January 2020, a Hindu temple in Karak in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in December 2020,” he said.

“ These incidents are occurring at an alarming rate while the state and security institutions in Pakistan have stood by idly and completely failed in preventing these attacks on the minority communities and their places of worship,” the spokesperson added.