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LUCKNOW (Web Desk) – A senior Samajwadi Party leader and minister in Uttar Pradesh cabinet Ompal Nehra sacked after his comment that Muslims should give up their claims on mosques in Ayodhya and Mathura and help build temples there.

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UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav sacked Nehra.

Nehra said: “Where can a Ram temple be built if not at Ayodhya? Muslims should help in building a Ram temple in Ayodhya and a Krishna temple in Mathura and give up their claim on mosques there. In fact I would say that Muslims should join Kar Seva (voluntary work) for the Ram temple.”

NDTV reported that the leader was apparently referring to a controversy over the Vishwa Hindu Parishad or VHP gathering truckloads of carved stones for a temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya where the 16th century Babri mosque was razed by Hindu activists on December 6, 1992.

People in Pakistan and India hailed UP government’s decision, saying that it is gesture of goodwill and both the countries should take steps to improve bilateral ties. They said that such comments will sabotage efforts being made by Pak-India premiers.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in Lahore on Friday to meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. This is the first visit to Pakistan by an Indian premier in more than 12 years.

Earlier, PM Modi tweeted that he would “drop by” Lahore on his way back to Delhi and meet Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who turned 66 today. The decision, say sources, was a “spontaneous” one taken this morning.

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The Indian premier decided to go after his phone-call to his Pakistani counterpart to wish him on his birthday. This will be his first visit to Pakistan since taking office last year and the first visit by an Indian prime minister in 12 years.