The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has allowed the opening of an ancient Hindu temple and Dharamshala in Islamabad, making it clear that religious groups have a constitutional right to perform the last rites of their deceased.
The 222nd meeting of the Council of Islamic Ideology was held under the chairmanship of Dr Qibla Ayaz.
A statement issued by the Council of Islamic Ideology said that the Ministry of Religious Affairs had sought the opinion in a letter stating that the Hindu community in Islamabad has been allotted 4 Kanal of land in Sector H-9/2 on which They want to set up crematoriums, community centres for weddings and festivals and a centre for poojas for cremation.
The statement said that the Council of Islamic Ideology formed an opinion on the Shariah requirements, the 1950 Nehru-Liaquat Agreement and the 1973 constitution, which is being sent to the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
The Council of Islamic Ideology said that after considering the petitions of the Hindu community in detail and considering the Shariah arguments, the following points have been agreed upon.
1- In view of the current population ratio of the Hindu community in Islamabad, the ancient temple at Syedpur and the adjoining Dharamshala should be opened for Hindus and access to the Hindu community should be made possible so that the Hindu community can live according to their faith and perform religious services.
2. Constitutionally, every religious group has the right to perform the last rites of the deceased according to their religion. In view of this right, the Hindu community is allowed to arrange a suitable place for cremation in Islamabad where they Perform the last rites of the deceased according to your religious instructions.
3- They are allowed to build community centres for weddings and religious festivals, this is a constitutional right and there is no Shariah obscenity in it.
The Islamic Ideological Council in its meeting also suggested the decision of the government to provide funds for the construction of the temple and said that there is no precedent for the release of government funds for private places of worship in Pakistan.
The ruling said the council could not support the government’s proposal to release funds for the temple.
In its proposal, the council said alternative methods could be used to address the current funding problems in the construction of the temple.
The council said the first possible solution was to amend the Waqf Property Board Act to provide financial support for religious activities.
Another possible funding proposal to the government was to set up a fund block for non-Muslim communities as the state is responsible for the welfare of its citizens, including Hindus.
The council said the government should allocate a separate fund and distribute it to non-Muslim communities and there is no Shariah restriction on the use of this fund by the concerned minority.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) National Assembly member Lal Chand Malhi welcomed the decision of the Islamic Ideological Council, saying the move showed that the state protects the rights of minorities in Pakistan.
“Following the decision of the Islamic Ideological Council, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) should issue a NOC for the Hindu Panchayat in Islamabad to erect a wall in Sector Age Nine,” he said.
The controversy over the construction of a Hindu temple in Islamabad’s Sector H-9/2 began in May this year when several religious parties and groups objected to the plan, saying taxes in the Islamic State The construction of the temple with donor money is against Islam.
Later in July, the Islamabad High Court, while dealing with three identical petitions against the construction of the temple, had said that the construction of a place of worship required the approval of a regulator such as the Capital Development Authority (CDA). He also rejected the objection on the allotment of plot for the temple.
The issue was also debated in the National Assembly and the Senate, where Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Noorul Haq Qadri told the lower house that construction work on the temple site had been halted after objections from certain religious scholars. It has been sent to the Islamic Ideological Council for acquisition.
He said the issue was not the construction of the temple but the question of whether the government could spend money from the national exchequer.
The construction of the temple
It may be recalled that Prime Minister Imran Khan had recently approved a grant of Rs 100 million for the construction of the first temple in the federal capital, following a request made by Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Noor-ul-Haq Qadri in a meeting with the Prime Minister.
Earlier, a groundbreaking ceremony was held on June 23 in the H9 area to begin construction of the first temple in the capital.
The foundation stone of the temple was laid by Parliamentary Secretary for Human Rights Lal Chand Malhi.
The Islamabad Hindu Panchayat has named the temple Shri Krishna Temple.
On the orders of the National Commission for Human Rights, in 2017, a 20,000 sq ft plot in H9 / 2, Islamabad was allotted to a Hindu Panchayat by the CDA.
However, construction could not begin due to delays in the completion of other formalities, including approval of documents from Sitemap, CDA and other relevant authorities.