Minority rights: HRCP condemns barring of Sikhs from temple

Published: July 20, 2011

Asma Jahangir has strongly urged Punjab govt and the provincial chief minister to take prompt notice of the incident. PHOTO: EXPRESS

LAHORE: 

Barring of Sikhs from a gurudwara in Lahore is scandalous and a violation of fundamental rights, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has said.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the HRCP said: “While extremist elements barring religious minorities from their worship places in Pakistan no longer surprises anyone,” the authority’s decision is “scandalous”.

Around four years ago, a group of young Muslim men had claimed that the gurudwara was built on the site of the burial place of a Muslim saint. The Evacuee Trust Property Board had allowed both communities to observe their religious rituals according to their own beliefs at the gurudwara. But, on July 16, police deployed outside the gurudwara prevented the Sikhs from congregating to commemorate an eighteenth-century saint because Shab-e-Barat was to be observed two days later.

“Police deployment to prevent the congregation at the gurudwara was shocking, ill-advised and entirely uncalled for,” the statement says. The governing authority has “no right to ask members of a religious faith to postpone rituals of their faith inside their places of worship or to give precedence to religious rituals of one faith over another.”

Meanwhile, President of the Supreme Court Bar Association Asma Jahangir has strongly urged the Punjab government and the provincial chief minister to take prompt notice of the incident.

“The Quaid-e-Azam stressed on the rights of minorities and all minorities in Pakistan have the right to exercise religious freedom,” said Jahangir. “The historical temple has been in place for over a century and the Sikh community has been practising their religious rights here.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (3)

  • MAS
    Jul 20, 2011 - 8:08PM

    The Sikh community in Lahore has already termed this news item as false and fabricated and tribune has also published their contradiction; yet, HRCP’s asma jahangir’s subsequent statement shows her inherent bias against the state of Pakistan and its Islamic identity. Why she is silent on US sponsored Taliban’s spate of attacks against Pak army? HRCP never condemned Taliban sponsored terrorism in Pakistan.

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  • Sensible truth
    Jul 21, 2011 - 12:00AM

    Sorry this sort of thing is very typical of the pak government as they are controlled by threats of death by those who wish to make Pakistan a terrorist state.

    This form of suppression breeds violence.

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  • farhansaqib
    Jul 21, 2011 - 11:54AM

    We are personally not agreed from the news which was published in the express tribune news on 20th July 2011, against the minorities religious ritual…it just a rumors and fake stories. This kind of activists is trying to let down the image of Pakistan. We have to speak about this mater for the to protect and for sovereignty of our Pakistan

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