Minorities & Pakistan

Last month, Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan approved a grant of Rs100 million for the development of Islamabad’s first Hindu temple, which Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Noorul Haq Qadri had requested. Plan of the Sri Krishna Mandir complex was approved under the govt of PML-N but the development was delayed thanks to protests by religious groups and a few administrative hurdles. once more , there has been an uproar by religious groups who petitioned the Islamabad supreme court (IHC) to prevent its construction. The IHC disposed of three petitions filed against the development of the temple and observed that it required the approval of the regulator, which during this case, is that the Capital Development Authority (CDA).

Religious affairs minister has said there was no got to debate on the rights of minorities as they were protected by the PTI government. “The party’s manifesto involves removing all obstructions within the implementation of constitutional provisions regarding the rights of minorities.” Qadri insists that the development of the Hindu temple has been stopped thanks to technical reasons and a few issues with the CDA. Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari also asked “if we don’t protect and defend our own minorities then how will we fight the case of other Muslims across the planet .”

Islamabad has about 3,000 Hindus and thanks to there being no temple within the capital, they face many issues on religious festivals. we’ve had several prominent Hindu members of parliament, a former Hindu judge and military officers also . Hindus make an outsized number of our minority population. We must not concede to reactionary forces.

Pakistan’s founder Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in his August 11 speech made it clear that there’ll be no discrimination in Pakistan on the idea of faith . “You are free; you’re liberal to attend your temples, you’re liberal to attend your mosques or to the other place or worship during this state of Pakistan. you’ll belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to try to to with the business of the state,” he said and every one folks know, but still we come short of respecting those that are equal citizens of the state.

Unfortunately, Pakistan’s diary of protecting its religious minorities isn’t too good. Forced conversions of Hindu girls has become a norm within the country, mobs have burned down minorities’ places of worship within the past, religious minorities face discrimination quite regularly – incidents of such discrimination were recently shared by some cricketers also .

It is unfortunate that Muslim majority countries sometimes do exactly what’s happening to Muslim minorities in other countries. The recent example of adjusting the status of Hagia Sophia in Turkey is an example – whether it’s a politically calculated move or not, the religious connotations are quite obvious. We hope that the PTI government will plow ahead with the development of the temple in Islamabad. The premier has been quite committed to protecting the rights of spiritual minorities. We are hopeful that he won’t disappoint the minorities, who are equal citizens of Pakistan.

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