Sidharth Shekhar |TNN| New Delhi | Jul 01, 2020:: The construction of a Hindu temple in Islamabad has riled many Islamic extremists in Pakistan. Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi in a video statement strongly opposed the establishment of the temple saying it is not only against the spirit of Islam but is also an insult to the ‘state of Madinah’.
“Pakistan came into existence in the name of Islam and building a new temple in the capital is against the spirit of Islam,” said Elahi adding that after the conquest of Mecca, Hazrat Muhammad along with Hazrat Ali broke 360 idols in Baitullah Sharif saying, “Truth has come and falsehood has vanished.”
Elahi’s statement comes after a local lawyer from Islamabad filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against the construction a temple saying a temple for Hindus already existed in Saidpur and the government, instead of constructing a new temple, should renovate the old one.
‘No funds for the mosque, but money released for temple’
The petitioner further said that the government lacks funds for the construction of a mosque but released funds for building a temple.
The Hindu community living in the Pakistani capital will be getting a new temple and a crematorium – the first in the city.
The Imran Khan government has allocated at least 4 kanal land for the construction of the temple.
During the groundbreaking ceremony, Parliamentary Secretary on Human Rights Lal Chand Malhi said the Hindu population in the capital has been increasing considerably in the past two decades, making it important to make a temple for them.
Radical Islamists and extremists have opposed the decision
“The Hindu community in Islamabad has been demanding a temple for a long time now. The population has also increased while many Hindu temple structures in the capital have been abandoned,” IANS quoted Malhi as saying.
Religious Affairs Minister Pir Noorul Haq Qadri maintained that the government of Pakistan would be bearing the cost of the construction, which is estimated to at least PKR 100 million.
The news about the construction of a new temple was welcomed in Pakistan and religious minorities but radical Islamists and extremists have condemned the initiative vowing to oppose the decision.
Read also: ‘Fatwa’ issued over temple in Islamabad.