Pakistani newspapers had different takes on Friday on the Allahabad High Court verdict on the Ayodhya issue. One held that the trifurcation of the disputed land into two parts for the Hindus and one for the Muslims seemed to be the "only tenable solution", while another hailed it as the victory of "inflamed Hindu mobs".
"Perhaps this was the only tenable solution considering the divergent views of the three-member bench: Justice Sudhir Agarwal felt 'the building in dispute was constructed after demolition of a non-Islamic religious structure i.e. a Hindu temple", while Justice S.U. Khan's findings were that 'no temple was demolished for constructing the mosque'," an editorial in Dawn said.
Hoping the "demarcation is done amicably and fairly", the editorial said that initially, it appears to be a judgment in favour of Hindu demands, but noted the verdict will "be viewed as pragmatic if it soothes communal passions and ensures such ugly incidents do not happen again".
"Nearly two decades after Hindu zealots tore down the 16th-century Babri mosque, there appears to be some sense of closure to the divisive issue. Or is there", the editorial wondered, noting that "when religion, mythology and politics come together in issues such as this, the mix is nothing less than incendiary".
It said the verdict must have come as a relief for the Congress-led government - under whose watch the mosque was demolished in 1992. "A totally pro-Hindu verdict would have put a question mark on the government's secular credentials while a pro-Muslim judgment would have alienated the government from the Hindu majority," it said.
Though the Urdu daily, Nawa-i-Waqt did not carry an editorial on the issue, its front page headline on the verdict was: "Babri Masjid: Bharti High Court ka junooni Hinduoon ke haq mein faisla" (Babri Masjid: India High Court rules in favour of inflamed Hindu mobs." It also had a file photo of Hindu mobs on the dome of the Babri Masjid.
The paper carried an opinion piece by Abdul Rauf Mehdi wondering if the judgment was an attempt to sabotage the "Quit Kashmir" movement.