In yet another move to propel Pakistan into era of diversity and inclusivity, PM Khan has reportedly approved the construction of a temple for the Hindu community in the country’s capital Islamabad. The foundation stone for the temple was laid on June 24 — months after the Kartarpur Corridor was inaugurated allowing Sikhs’ from ts eastern neighbor India and from overseas do pilgrimage of the holy site.
A senior Pakistani defense analyst had called it “a master stroke”. “Pegging heart and soul of what the country stands for: open for all, unity in diversity is what Pakistan is all about”, said an observer in Islamabad.
“We all have to take Pakistan forward by promoting unity and religious harmony in our ranks”, said PM Khan on the groundbreaking of the Hindu temple site.
His party PTI and government in the Center have made protection of the rights of minorities and ensuring them equal opportunities in all walks of life one of their top priorities, a political pundit says.
Decades of war in its western neighborhood (Afghanistan) had taken toll on social fabric of the society, including more than $120 billion economic losses and more than 80,000 lives lost in war on terror as the US-led forces and the militants battled a non-winnable war.
18 years later with Islamabad providing active support, the US and Taliban inked a historical peace deal in February.
“Enduring stability and unity in diversity is the moral compass Khan’s government and the State are following and taking one step at a time”, the observer says. “But there are many a sip between the cup and the lip”.
The construction of the much-needed temple complex has reportedly begun “as part of government’s outreach to the minority Hindu community,” an official said. The move has been challenged in court days after the event.
On Tuesday, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) held its first hearing on a complaint filed by a citizen questioning the space allocated in the federal capital for the temple on grounds –does it meet the capital’s master plan is the question the complainant asked.
The civic agency of the federal capital, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) was directed to answer this as the court heard the complaint filed by Chaudhry Akhtar against the construction of the Hindu temple in the capital.
The complainant asserts that a Hindu worship site exists in the Saidpur Village –a suburb of the federal capital, and contends that the construction of a new temple was a violation of the city’s master plan.
The court has issued a notice asking the CDA to clarify whether the worship site was part of the master plan or not.
An expert says it’s good that the matter is being heard as part of due process of law which may or may not tilt in favor on technical grounds. “Still national policy and concerns weigh in”.