On Saturday, the Islamabad Hindu panchayat informed that it would halt the construction of a new Sri Krishna temple in the city after a mob of radical extremists razed the boundary wall of the temple to the ground, reported The Times of India.
In a viral video uploaded by a twitter handle (@PakHindus), a radical extremist can be seen dismantling the temporary boundary wall and speaking to the camera in an agitated manner. “If building a temple brings insecurity among our Muslim brother’s Faith, we respect their faith and would want to build a temple after their faith gets stronger. #MandirTauBanega,” the tweet read.
Shri Krishna temple which was about to be constructed , is demolished by local Teenage, in Islamabad.— Pak Hindus (@PakHindus) July 4, 2020
If building a temple brings insecurity among our Muslims brthrs Faiths, we respect their faith and would want to build a temple after their faith gets stronger. #MandirTauBanega pic.twitter.com/pywcoJN15R
Reportedly, the temple complex would include a cremation ground, accommodation for visitors, a dedicated parking area, and a community hall. According to a Hindu government civil servant, Pritam Das Rathi, about 3,000 Hindus live in Islamabad and the outskirts of the capital city without a temple or a crematorium.
Reportedly, the demand for a Sri Krishna temple in Islamabad had been a long-standing one. Lal Chand Malhi, a Hindu lawmaker and a PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf) politician, informed that Hindus in the area avoided visiting the site, following the desecration of the boundary wall of the temple. He added that the wall was constructed using the resources of the panchayat and that the work had been temporarily stopped in light of ‘unpleasant incidents’. The decision was made by the Hindu panchayat Islamabad on Saturday, in an emergency meeting, following the blasphemous act.
“The land was allotted to us by CDA (Capital Development Authority), the government has sanctioned the grant but the money has yet to be released. Work on the boundary wall was started by the Panchayati itself,” Malhi stated. As per the PTI lawmaker, the Hindu panchayat in Islamabad would reach out to the CDA on Monday to resume the construction of the temple. He informed that the wall was necessary as ‘some people’ had encroached upon the site in 2018. “It took months for us to get the place cleared,” he emphasised.
Islamic clerics oppose Hindu temple in Islamabad
The hardline-radical Islamists in Pakistan had earlier opposed the construction of Hindu temple in Pakistan claiming that it was contrary to the idea of Pakistan, which is Islam. A group of Islamic leaders on Wednesday had attacked the Imran Khan government for granting funds to the construction of a Hindu temple in Islamabad, who termed it as against Pakistan’s ideology. The religious parties also said that they would take up the issue in the Federal Shariat Court. The Islamic leaders claimed that building a temple on the taxes of Muslims could not be tolerated in Pakistan.
Pakistan govt seeks advice of Council of Islamic Ideology
On Friday, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Friday stopped construction of the boundary wall of the Hindu temple being built in Pakistan’s capital city Islamabad citing legal reasons. Following the decision to halt the construction of the temple, the Imran Khan-led Pakistan government is set to seek the advice of the Islamic Ideology Council (IIC) on the matter. The Prime Minister has directed the religious affairs ministry to forward the issue of granting the construction of the temple to the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) for advice.