THE human rights group Amnesty International on Tuesday urged Pakistan to resume the construction of a Hindu temple in the capital that was halted to assuage the concerns from religious and political circles.
“Halting the construction of a Hindu temple in Islamabad is an unconscionable act of bigotry that must be reversed immediately,” the group said in a tweet.
The plan to build the first temple in the capital having a crematorium and a community hall was approved by the government of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in 2017.
However, the construction annoyed clerics who issued decrees against the move that was also opposed by politicians including the chief of PML-Q party, an ally of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The Capital Development Authority (CDA) halted construction of the boundary wall at the site of the Shri Krishna Madir temple on Friday for not having an approved building plan.
Later on, the minister for religious affairs announced that the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), a body of Islamic scholars, will decide whether state money can be spent on a temple.
“We are really scared and have not yet decided about the resumption of work since the site was vandalized last week,’’ Ramesh Kumar, a spokesperson for the Hindu Panchayat Islamabad, told dpa.
Islamabad is home to about 3,000 Hindus of the estimated 8 million total in Pakistan.
The majority of the community is based in the southern province of Sindh near the border with India. (dpa/NAN)
– Jul. 7, 2020 @ 10:57 GMT |