The Council of Islamic Ideology (CCI) on Wednesday recommended opening an already established temple in Saidpur village Islamabad instead of constructing a new worship place for the Hindu community in the federal capital.
“In view of the current population in Islamabad, the ancient temple and the adjoining Dharamshala at Saidpur village be opened to the Hindus and they should be facilitated to reach there to perform religious services as per their beliefs,” the CII said in a statement.
The council also consented to allot space to the Hindu community for setting up a crematorium and allowed them to build a community centre to hold wedding ceremonies and observe religious festivals.
The CII chairman observed that the decision had been reached after the council listened to the points of view of various applicants — mostly from clerics and those of the Hindu community.
The body maintained that government funds could not be allocated for unofficial worship places but as Pakistan citizens the state could apportion funds for the well-being of Hindu community.
On the issue of blasphemous sketches, the CII strongly condemned the French government and supported the move to boycott the European country’s products.
It praised Prime Minister Imran Khan and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan for their stance against the French government.
It also condemned the use of all sorts of blasphemous content against pious personalities including the prophets, Ahle-Bait and other religious figures.
The council approved a resolution against Indian illegal occupation of Kashmir condemning the atrocities committed by the Indian troops there.
The body expressed reservations over some clauses of the domestic violence bill presented by Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari and declared that soon a comprehensive alternative draft for the law would be prepared by it.
The council declared that the use of medicines formulated with forbidden ingredients was allowed in case a substitute for those drugs was not available.
Condemning the Peshawar blast, the council urged the government to take solid steps to curb the incidents of violence.
On the Qaza (circuit bench) system in Balochistan, the CII opined that keeping in view the aspirations and demands of the people of province, a single system “Dastoorul Amal Diwani Kalat 1952” be implemented in the region.
It called for adopting Urdu as language in all government offices including the courts.
The council directed the government to make appropriate amendment in the language used for religious purpose in Article H-37 of the Constitution regarding the issuance of liquor permit so that the feelings of non-Muslim are not hurt.
It was decided that the CII members would visit the areas of Sindh and Punjab where forced conversions had taken place to assess the ground realities and submit recommendations in this regard.
The temple row
In 2017, the PML-N government had allotted 2,400 square yards for the construction of a Hindu temple in H-9/2 in 2017 but the move was opposed by some lawmakers. They termed the government's grant for a temple as "unIslamic".
Opposition for the temple's construction grew after Prime Minister Imran Khan approved a grant of Rs100 million for its construction in June this year. Weeks later, the CDA stopped the construction of the boundary wall on the plot meant for the temple citing legal reasons.
In July, an application was referred to the CII by the Ministry of Religious Affairs, seeking opinion over allotment of a four kanal plot in H-9/2 to the Hindu community for the establishment of a crematorium, as well as a community centre and a temple.
The ministry had also sought the advice of the CII over allocation of Rs100 million by the premier for the construction of crematorium which would include a temple as well.
An application was also filed in the Islamabad High Court by an individual against the establishment of a cremation site and construction of a temple. The court had deferred the matter and linked it to the CII decision.
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