Hindu shrine desecration: Can Pakistan protect its religious minorities?

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A century-old sacred Hindu shrine in Pakistan was destroyed by a Muslim mob in December – the second ransacking and desecration of the holy site.

Pakistan’s Supreme Court has issued an order to officials in the north-western district of Karak to pave the way for rebuilding the Sri Param Hansji Maharaj Samadhi temple, but the attack has left the country’s Hindus feeling vulnerable and the government facing accusations that it is failing to protect the country’s religious minorities.

Pakistan is overwhelmingly Muslim – the Hindu community makes up less than 2% of the population. Prejudice against Hindus is ingrained.

The Hindus who attend the Sri Param Hansji Maharaj Samadhi were still in the process of rebuilding the site after the first attack, in 1997, after the Supreme Court finally issued a rebuilding order in 2015.