Council of Islamic Ideology approves construction of Hindu temple in Islamabad

Pakistan’s top Islamic advisory body, the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), has approved the construction of a temple in Islamabad, despite resistance. The council has though approved the construction yet it mentioned in its decision that it did not support provision of the government funds for the construction of the temple because “there is no such tradition in the country.”

The CII has instead suggested alternate means to resolve the funding issue, including amendment of Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Act to meet the financial needs for the execution of religious activities or creating a fund for non-Muslim communities.

CII Chairman Dr Qibla Ayaz after the meeting said there was no constitutional or Sharia constraints on the construction of a temple in Islamabad or any other part of the country.

The CII has also allowed the government to hand over an ancient Hindu temple and adjoining Dharamshala (community centre) in Saidpur village to Islamabad’s Hindu community.
The ministry had also sought the CII’s advice on the allocation of Rs100 million by the prime minister for the construction of the crematorium and temple.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Religious Affairs on July 6 in an application had sought the CII opinion on the allotment of a plot in Sector H-9/2 of Islamabad to the Hindu community for a crematorium, community centre and temple.

However, shortly after the construction began, it was forced to a halt after religious affairs ministry issued a fatwa against building of the temple. According to the fatwa place of worship of the religious minorities could only be renovated and new ones cannot be built.

Source: Gulf News