Rest of Asia

Islamic panel allows construction of Hindu temple in Pakistan capital

Filed on October 28, 2020
Police officers guard the site of a proposed Hindu temple in Islamabad.

(AP file)

CII asks govt to handover Dharamshala to Hindu community

A top constitutional body of Pakistan responsible for giving legal advice on Islamic issues to the government has ruled that there were no constitutional or Sharia constraints against constructing a Hindu temple in Islamabad or any other place in the country.

The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), in a meeting on Wednesday, also allowed the government to hand over the temple site as well as its adjoining Dharamshala (community centre) in Saidpur village of Islamabad to the Hindu community “so that it can offer religious rites as per their beliefs”.

However, briefing media about the recommendations of the three-day CII meeting, council chairman Dr Qibla Ayaz said that there was no tradition of constructing places of worship with public money so the Hindu temple could not be constructed with public money.

The CII recommended to the government to establish a ‘special welfare fund’ for minorities which they can utilise without any outside hindrance.

The constitution provides right to all citizens to practice their religion freely and perform last rituals of members of their community in accordance with their religious belief, it said.

The Hindu community was allowed to perform last rituals of a deceased person in shamshan ghat (a mortuary where corpses are cremated).

The CII contended that the Hindu community was allowed to construct a community centre to perform their religious rituals and marriage ceremonies and there was no harm in it as per the Sharia.

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