Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday directed the relevant authorities to consult the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) on the issue of construction of a Hindu temple in Islamabad. Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Noorul Haq Qadri called on PM Imran
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday directed the relevant authorities to consult the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) on the issue of construction of a Hindu temple in Islamabad. Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Noorul Haq Qadri called on PM Imran. During the meeting, the minister appraised the premier about the sensitivity of the issue and reaction coming from the religious and political circles.
The religious affairs minister said that the Hindu members of parliament had filed an application with the Human Rights Commission in 2017 for the construction of a place of worship.
“At the request of the Ministry of Human Rights, the Capital Development Authority allotted space for the temple in 2017. They had also requested the Ministry of Religious Affairs for funds for the temple’s construction.”
He added that the minority community was told earlier that the Ministry of Religious Affairs does not release funds for the construction of minority places of worship, but repairs and renovates them and that the minister had forwarded the request to the premier.
The CDA is responsible for providing space for religious places of worship in Islamabad.
The spokesperson for religious affairs said that Pakistan as a state and government would protect the rights of minorities as enshrined in the Constitution. “The Hindu community is building the temple with its own resources.”
According to reports, the PM would decide to release funds for the construction of the temple after considering all social and religious aspects.
Decision with CII
Addressing the media after the Ittehad Ummat Conference (IUC) at Eidgah Sharif Darbar on Saturday, the religious affairs minister has said that the land for construction of Hindu temple in Sector H-9, Islamabad was allotted by the previous government in 2017 and that the funds would be allocated after negotiation with all sects and on the recommendation of the CII.
The federal minister was accompanied by CII Chairman Qibla Ayaz, Ulema and mashaikh from all schools of thought and successors of different shrines.
“However, the decision of allocating state funds for the temple has not been taken. The CII will decide whether or not the temple will be constructed by using state funds,” the minister said.
“Islam stresses the need for granting rights to minorities and with regard to minorities’ rights, Pakistan leads [other countries] in the region,” Qadri said, adding that the government was aspiring to bring all the religious scholars on one-page keeping in view the sectarian divide.
“We distance ourselves from those who want to spread violence. The act of a particular person should not be associated with any sect,” he added.
Observing that Prime Minister Imran Khan held positive views in this regard, he urged the religious scholars to spread of message of unity among Muslims through sufi lodges and stressed that the government had a uniform policy for all schools of thought.
He reiterated that the government would take religious leaders into confidence and take strict action against those promoting sectarian intolerance.