Par­lia­men­tary panel directs govt to build tem­ple for Hin­dus in Islamabad

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - STAFF RE­PORTER

ISLAMABAD—A par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee on Mon­day di­rected the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to build a tem­ple and cre­ma­to­rium in Islamabad for Hindu com­mu­nity.

“It is sur­pris­ing and sad that there is not even a sin­gle tem­ple in Islamabad for Hindu com­mu­nity to wor­ship,” Ramesh Lal said while chair­ing the meet­ing of sub-com­mit­tee of the Na­tional As­sem­bly Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on Re­li­gious Af­fairs.

It came as a shock to the com­mit­tee mem­bers that there was no cre­ma­to­rium in the fed­eral cap­i­tal.

At least 500 Hin­dus are reg­is­tered to be liv­ing in Islamabad, and had to travel to Rawalpindi to per­form fi­nal rit­u­als of their de­ceased, the com­mit­tee was told.

“This is how gov­ern­ment is treat­ing mi­nori­ties in the coun­try,” Lal, who is con­vener of the par­lia­men­tary panel, said. “It is the ba­sic right of Hin­dus to have a tem­ple in their own city for wor­ship,” he added.

The par­lia­men­tary body re­jected the con­cerns put for­ward by the gov­ern­ment that there would be se­cu­rity is­sues if a tem­ple is built for Hindu com­mu­nity.

“Ho­tels and restau­rants are be­ing provided se­cu­rity by the gov­ern­ment, why a tem­ple can­not be provided se­cu­rity,” mem­bers of the com­mit­tee said.

Tariq Qaiser, one of the mem­bers of the par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee, also brought forth the mat­ter of churches not re­ceiv­ing any fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance from the gov­ern­ment for ren­o­va­tion.

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