Days after the ground breaking ceremony took place at the land allocated for construction of a temple in Islamabad, religious organisations, lawyers and political class of Pakistan have started piling up pressure on the Pakistan government and the Islamabad construction authority, forcing them to stop the construction work.
The first temple for Hindu minorities in Pakistan's national capital was recently allocated a land area of 4 kanals in Sector H-9/3 in Islamabad along with a funding of Rs 4.45 crore that was approved and released immediately by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, according to an IANS report. This decision, however, did not go down well with the religious organisations in the country such as the Jamia Asharfia and Ulema Mashaikh Federation of Pakistan (UMF).
Jamia Asharfia's fatwa as accessed by IANS states, "In a state, formed on the principles of Islam, preserving, maintaining and looking after the already present religious sites of other religions is correct as it provides them freedom to perform their religious rituals. However, the construction of a new worship place of non-Muslims is not acceptable as per the Islamic Shariah."
UMF or Ulema Mashaikh Federation of Pakistan condemned the construction of a Hindu temple in Islamabad in much stronger terms as they announced that July 5 be marked as a day of condemnation against the Pakistan government's go ahead to the construction work.
Furthermore, a petition was also filed in the Islamabad High Court challenging the government's decision to construct the temple and contended that a temple for Hindus of Islamabad already existed in the model village of Saidupur, located in Sector F-6 of Islamabad. The petition also stated that the government should renovate the already existing temple instead of constructing a new one.
Pakistan's political class was less than pleased with this development as well. The Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) also opposed the construction of this temple as being "against the spirit of Islam." The PML-Q was, however, not the only one as Pakistan Assembly Speaker Chaudhary Pervaiz Elahi was quoted by PTI as saying,"Pakistan was created in the name of Islam. Construction of a new Hindu temple in its capital is not only against the spirit of Islam but also an insult to Riayasat-e-Madina (Islamic welfare state)."