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On Pakistan’s National Minorities Day, Islamabad’s Hindus likely to get a place to pray

Capital Development Authority records mention the centuries-old temple had a Dharamshala which was converted into a public toilet after renovation

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(Representational Image) Temple in Saidpur. Image Source: flickr.com
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  • Capital Development Authority records mention the centuries-old temple in Saidpur  had a Dharamshala, which was converted into a public toilet after the renovation
  • The Rama Mandir in Saidpur village was built by Raja Mann Singh in the 1580s
  • The Hindu residents of Islamabad have to go all the way to Rawalpindi to offer their prayers even though there is a temple turned tourist site in Saidpur village

On National Minorities Day in Pakistan, which is on August 11, Hindus in Islamabad might get a place to pray, if the campaign to revive an abandoned Hindu Temple works out well. Pakistan celebrates The National Minorities Day to highlight the contribution and services made by the minority communities towards the growth of the nation.

The Hindu residents of Islamabad have to go all the way to Rawalpindi to offer their prayers even though there is a temple turned tourist site in Saidpur village. They are now planning to revive the temple so that the 850 Hindus living in the city can have a place for religious gatherings, mentioned the indiatoday.in reports.

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The Rama Mandir in Saidpur village was built by Raja Mann Singh in the 1580s. During that time, Saidpur had a significant Hindu population and after the partition in 1947, many left the place and the temple fell into disuse. Later, they were barred from performing religious rituals in the temple.

Capital Development Authority records mention the centuries-old temple had a Dharamshala, which was converted into a public toilet after the renovation. The carvings of Hindu Goddess Lakshmi and Kali in the walls were painted over by the CDA in 2006, mentioned the indiatoday.in reports.

Image Source: indiatoday.intoday.in
Representational Pic. Image Source: indiatoday.in

According to the Express Tribune reports, “the sanctity of the holy place will be restored and Hindu families living in Islamabad will finally have a place to pray,” said PTI lawmaker Lal Chand Malhi, who is leading the campaign. He also added, “First, we will try to force the government and its departments to allow us to make the temple operational. If no response is received, community members, political parties and civil society will open it for prayers.”

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Letters requesting the revival of the temple is likely to be written to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Mamnoon Hussain of Pakistan. Apart from that, the issue will also be addressed to Islamabad Mayor Ansar Aziz, who is the custodian of the site, on August 11.

Islamabad Mayor said to the indiatoday.in, he is ready to support the request once he receives it. He also adds that he will be more than happy to help Hindus living in Islamabad to get access to the temple.

– prepared by Ajay Krishna of NewsGram. Twitter: @ajkrish14

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Pakistan Exploits Situation In Jammu & Kashmir: India

India has accused Pakistan of cynically exploiting the situation in Jammu and Kashmir at the General Assembly

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Pakistan Exploits Situation In Jammu & Kashmir: India
Pakistan Exploits Situation In Jammu & Kashmir: India. flickr

India has accused Pakistan of cynically exploiting the situation in Jammu and Kashmir at the General Assembly while it was discussing an important issue.

“Such cynical attempts have failed in the past and do not find any resonance in this body,” Sandeep Kumar Bayyapu, a First Secretary in India’s UN Mission, said on Monday.

He was replying to a reference to Kashmir made by Pakistan’s Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi during a debate on the Right to Protect People against crimes against humanity.

“While we are having this serious debate for the first time in a decade on an issue that is of importance to all of us, we have witnessed that one delegation has, yet again, misused this platform to make an unwarranted reference to the situation in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir,” Bayyapu said.

“I would like to place on record and reiterate that the state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral and inalienable part of India. No amount of empty rhetoric from Pakistan will change this reality,” he added.

Lodhi had said that many of the victims of killings and “mass-blinding” are “in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir” and that they “have the further indignity of living under an illegal and alien occupation”.

Pakistan's Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi
Pakistan’s Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi. flickr

“Against this backdrop, calls for accountability would invariably smack of double standards and selectivity, especially when egregious crimes including killings and mass-blinding are being committed in full view of the international community,” she said.

However, Lodhi also said: “At its core, the responsibility to protect, is not a license to intervene in external situations, but, is instead, a universal principle of ‘non-indifference’, in keeping with historical context and cultural norms of respective settings.”

Also read: Women-Driven Rickshaw Program Creating Sensation in Pakistan

“We should also be mindful that the notion of ‘Responsibility to Protect’ does not become a mere re-enactment of the discredited ‘humanitarian interventions’ of the past,” she added. (IANS)