Pakistan’s supreme religious organization has said there are no constitutional or Sharia restrictions on building a Hindu temple in Islamabad or any part of the country. According to the ‘Dawn News’ report, the Council for Islamic Ideology (CII) made this decision in a meeting based on the Constitution and the Liaquat-Nehru Accord of 1950. The CII also allowed the government to hand over an ancient temple located in the village of Saidpur and the Dharamshala which adjoins it to the Hindu community of Islamabad.
The council said, “Considering the current population in Islamabad, an ancient temple and adjacent Dharamshala located in the village of Saidpur should be open to the Hindu community and provide them with the opportunity to go there so that they can accomplish their religious rituals. ” The decision is signed by 14 members of the ICN and states that Hindus, like other religious groups in the country, have the constitutional right to a place to perform the last rites according to their religion.
On July 6, the Ministry of Religious Affairs sent the CII a request for advice on the allocation of land to the Hindu community for cremation grounds, a dharamshala and a temple. The ministry had also sought the council’s suggestion for the allocation of 10 crore rupees by the prime minister for the cremation of the crematorium and the house.
Many Pakistani clerics had opposed this and claimed that the government’s support for the temple was not Islamic. A person had also filed a complaint with the High Court in Islamabad against the cremation house and the construction of the temple. However, the court postponed the hearing of the case and tied it to the ICN decision.
After the meeting, CII president Kibla Ayaz said the council concluded this after hearing various references to clerics and the Hindu community. He said: “This decision was taken in view of various provisions of the Sharia.” However, the council said it does not support the allocation of government funds for temple construction because there is generally no practice that the government should provide funds for places of religious worship.