Construction of First Hindu Temple in Islamabad Background:
Since the creation of Pakistan in 1947, no Hindu temples have been constructed in Islamabad. During the era of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in 2017, the project was approved and land for allocated but faced several delays.
The Hindus have been the part of the minorities in Pakistan and therefore, face discrimination. In the 2019 Pakistan’s report on amnesty, the minorities were persecuted under arbitrary and strictness, faced attacks from the powerful religious activists in Pakistan.
Hindu community in Pakistan:
Hindus make up 1.85% of Pakistan’s population of 22 crore, for which there are 1300 temples in Pakistan according to Hindu endowments, of which only 30 temples are used as places of worship.
There are about 3,000 Hindus in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, for whom there is no temple for worship and religious rites.
Therefore, for the 3,000 Hindu populations, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif during his tenure had allotted 1.5 acres of land in Sector H-9, where the Hindu population could build their own temple and hold their religious rites, weddings and all other ceremonies.
The Hindus have named their temple “Sri Krishna Chand”.
Opposition faced by religious activists:
Under the governance of Prime Minister Imran Khan, construction of the Hindu temple was considered a sign for growing tolerance regarding the Muslim community.
However, in reality that wasn’t the case as clerics mounted pressure on the government which eventually gave in.
Furthermore, the construction of Hindu temple leads to controversy and violence which as a result, troubled the relationship of Pakistan with its religious minorities present.
Construction of first Hindu temple in Islamabad stopped:
On july 4th, 2020, the construction of the Hindu temple in Islamabad was stopped by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) stating that the design on the Hindu temple has to be approved before according to the building plan.
In the meantime, religious activists vandalized the boundary of the temples along with religious slogans chanted after which they recited the call to prayer (azaan) on the same ground.
Islamabad High court disbanded the petitions which were made by several Muslim clerics who later on referred to the council of Islamic ideology for this matter to be resolved with accordance to the Sharia and Holy Quran.
Furthermore, the government requires legal advice on the Islamic issues that arise therefore, refer to the council of Islamic ideology.
The ministry of religious affairs also helped with the decision making process of fund allocation to be done from the Muslims who pay taxes for the construction of temple.
People supporting the construction of a Hindu temple:
As everyone is aware that social media has been playing a vital role in the lives of individuals who can raise their voice regarding the issue at hand.
Same was the result with this issue, as #MandirTauBanega started trending on Twitter.
People showed support on the social media for the construction of first Hindu temple in Islamabad. Furthermore, several religious groups spoke against it as well and soon got so extreme that they threatened to murder the minority Hindu community.
Not only there was massive support provided on social media for the construction of Hindu temple, various political parties supported the decision thus, wanted the construction to be started again.
The opposing party member, Khawaja Asif from Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) addressed to the National assembly stating that according to the constitution of Pakistan.
The equal rights law is for every citizen and does not only apply for the Muslim majority but also for the minority community of Hindus in Pakistan.
At the time of partition, Quaid e Azam stated that everyone, irrespective of their gender, identity, caste and religion would be considered equal and also, given the permission to practice their religion freely as well.
Criticism was observed from the Pakistan Ullema Council who constantly ranted about the issue to complicate it further and extend the support that the construction of hindu temple issue was receiving.
In addition, the constitution of Pakistan was quite clear about the rights that non-Muslims and Muslim had in the Islamic republic of Pakistan.
Let the Hindu community use its resources and ensure the construction of the temple.
These views have been expressed on social media, and the Hindu community has been humiliated, while in our country, the followers of all religions have complete freedom to perform their religious rites and the establishment of Pakistan at the time of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad.
Funding for the temple by the state:
The Imran Khan’s government made decisions to allocate 100 million rupees to fund the construction of Hindu temple in Islamabad and other facilities required.
Headed by Mahli, a meeting was held with the parliamentarian of various religious minority groups.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, provided direction to the federal minister of religious affairs, Noor ul Haq Qadri to give the funds to the relevant authorities so that the construction of temple could be started.
Moreover, the group of parliamentarians mentioned that Imran Khan ordered Qadri to create a bill within the time period of two months which would address the issue of forced conversions in detail especially; those related to women would be given priority.
In all this, the opposition is also disagreeing that the Islamic government cannot allocate a grant for the construction of a Hindu temple.
The Constitution of Pakistan provides equal rights to all human beings, regardless of their religion.
Now the Islamic Ideological Council will be able to decide the fate of the camel.
After a lot of criticism, the hindu temple is being constructed in Islamabad and the government of Pakistan has allocated the funds to provide rights to the minority community in Pakistan.
Such measures would allow Muslims to be treated with respect in international countries.