Nation special report
ISLAMABAD: All eyes in Pakistan were set at Islamabad High Court on Tuesday waiting for its much awaited verdict in regards to construction of a Hindu temple in capital Islamabad. Delivering the decision in Islamabad the High Court left it on CDA, Islamic Ideology Council and Executive to take appropriate measures to resolve the issue.
The court said that the construction of temple should be carried out according to the rules and regulations set by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and amendments in relevant laws can be made.
“As far as funding for the temple is concerned, the state should take decision after consulting with Islamic Ideology Council. Furthermore it is the job of the Executive to look into this matter”, the court remarked disposing off all petitions submitted in this case.
The observers have commented that since this is very sensitive issue with apprehensive ramifications, Imran Khan will have to make mind keeping in view of sharp reaction from both ends i.e. Muslims and non-Muslims.
The clerics and other fundamental elements have already warned to launch a vigorous campaign against the government if it goes with the construction of the temple. At the other end, Hindu community will be great disappointed and frustrated if the temple is not built and its far-reaching effects would also emerge in neighbouring country India.
Earlier the Islamabad High Court was informed that the construction of the temple has been halted and the case has been sent to the Council of Islamic Ideology.
Deputy Attorney General Khalid Mehmood Raja appeared in court and said that the construction work has been halted. The petitioner, identified as Khushnood Khan, said that there are three temples in the twin cities. He remarked that there is already a temple in Saidpur village in Islamabad and the government should renovate it rather than constructing a new one.
The groundbreaking ceremony of the Shri Krishna temple was performed on June 23. The temple spread over four kanals is meant to include a crematorium, visitor accommodation, a community hall and parking space. The plan was reportedly approved in 2017 by the PML-N government but the construction kept being delayed. The construction, however, was challenged by many religious hardliners. Since the news of its construction was shared, the site has been attacked and vandalised four times.
The Capital Development Authority stopped on Friday the construction of the boundary wall on the plot allotted to the Shri Krishna Mandir in Islamabad’s H/9. Once constructed, the temple will be the first place of worship for Hindus in the city. A team of the authority’s building control department visited the temple site and instructed workers to stop working on the boundary wall.
PTI MNA Lal Chand Malhi, on the other hand, said that a building plan for the temple has already been submitted to the Ministry of Religious Affairs, which has forwarded it to the Prime Minister’s Office. “The plan along with the request for a grant of Rs100 million has formally been sent to Prime Minister Imran Khan,” Malhi said, pointing out that the PM had initially approved the grant. After opposition from clerics, however, it was agreed that a decision will be taken after advice from the Council of Islamic Ideology.
Noorul Haq Qadri
Religious Affairs Minister Noorul Haq Qadri has said that the federal government would review all religious and social aspects with regard to the construction of the first Hindu temple in Islamabad. Addressing the Pegham-e-Aman Conference in Islamabad on Monday, he said that the situation with regard to the temple was not uncertain.
The minister said the Council of Islamic Ideology has been requested to guide the government regarding the temple’s construction. He said a wave of violence had swept across social media and religious gatherings.“Because of this a few elements have lost control over their speech,” Qadri said. “This gives rise to sectarian and religious chaos.”
Islamabad’s Hindu Panchayat, which is constructing the temple from its own finances, halted the construction and decided to visit the CDA office. PTI MNA Lal Chand Malhi said the Hindu Panchayat announced that it was discontinuing the temple’s construction, even if the CDA allowed it, due to recent cases of violence and destruction of its site.