In Islamabad, hindu community renews demand for a temple

Forms committee to resolve issues faced by commnity


Zulfiqar Baig January 11, 2020
PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: The Hindu community residing in Islamabad has reiterated their longstanding demand for building a temple in the federal capital

“We need a temple in the federal capital to observe our religious rites,” said Islamabad Hindu Panchayat President Mahesh Kumar, while speaking to The Express Tribune on Friday.

He called upon the authorities of the federal capital to extend support for the construction of the temple. The Hindu Panchayat further requested Prime Minister Imran Khan to support a project to build the temple, Kumar added.

Having a worship place of our own is a constitutional right of the Hindus in the federal capital as everyone deserves justice in the ‘state of Medina’, Kumar said.

In 2016, the board of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) had allocated four kanals of land in Sector H-9 to build a temple for the 3,000 Hindu families living in the federal capital. The CDA had also issued the requisite no-objection certificate (NOC). However, the last president of the Hindu Panchayat in the city had clarified that the community lacked the resources to build the temple.

“We have formulated a seven-member committee to address the issues faced by Hindu community in Islamabad,” Kumar explained.

The committee includes Kumar, Secretary General Mahesh Kumar Malhi, Vice Presidents Manga Ram and Ramesh Kumar Maha Sharwari, Information Secretary Gulsh Jee, Finance Secretary Kumar Rathore Jeo Rajmal and Legal Adviser Ram Chand.

Apart from a temple, the complex will also serve other religious and community needs of Hindu residents of the federal capital since there are plans to build a community education facility and a cremation ground in the complex.

An auditorium will also be built within the temple complex to host different events for the community.

Kumar brushed aside stereotyping the local Hindu community and associating any links with India.

“The Hindus living in Pakistan hold allegiance to the country and remain true patriots,” he said.

He added that no religious community, including Muslims, were safe in India and that the tensions that erupted in disputed Himalayan territory of Indian-occupied Kashmir have now engulfed the whole of India.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2020.

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