By Alisha Upadhyay
Late June, news circulated that Islamabad was all set to build its first Hindu temple to promote interfaith harmony in Pakistan. Pakistan’s government was to bear all the costs of the construction of the temple. This news was widely welcomed by the Hindus in Pakistan as well as all over the world. However, matters seem to have changed over a period of time.
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The Capital Development Authority of Pakistan halted the construction of the boundary wall on the plot allotted for the temple citing legal reasons, this decision comes as the religious leaders and people of Pakistan oppose its government’s decision.
Leaders of Ittehad-e-Tanzeem Madaris Pakistan (ITMP) held a press conference opposing the construction of the temple and asked how could the Pakistan government that claimed to be following the Madinah state do its construction.
Addressing the press conference in Islamabad, the ITMP leaders Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman, Dr. Maulana Muhammad Adil, Mufti Nazir Jan Naeemi, Maulana Talha Rehmani, Maulana Abdul Waheed, Maulana Yousaf Qasuri and other scholars of the institution said that making a mandir in Islamabad is against the spirit of Islam and also an insult to the ‘state of Madina’.
The ITMP is a central body of the madrassa boards of five schools of Islamic jurisprudence in Pakistan.
As this happens the prime minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan is to direct the religious affairs ministry to forward the summary regarding the allocation of grant for the worship place to the Council of Islamic Ideology for its opinion regarding the matter. On the flip side, Pakistan’s religious affairs ministry clarified this, stating that the body only helps to renovate places of worship belonging to religious minorities and did not build new ones.
See level of intolerance towards non-muslims in Islamic Pakistan. Everyone is opposing 1st & only Hindu temple in 73 years in Islamabad. Boundry wall of Hindu Temple is already demolished & public comes for Islamic prayers on temple site thinking doing Jihad against non-muslims pic.twitter.com/mlwG3Dmgnp
— Rahat Austin (@johnaustin47) July 6, 2020
This u-turn comes as no shock to the minorities, the government has tampered with the fate of the temple since 2017, always citing administrative reasons.
Moreover, videos have been circulating on social media showing young Pakistanis toppling, damaging the already build temple wall boundary. The youth can be seen abiding by Islamist propaganda and spreading hate speech on Hindus.
In this light of events, the safety of minorities comes into question and also if Pakistan is doing enough for them.
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