Islamabad, Jul 4: A Pakistani parliamentary committee today directed the government to build a temple and crematorium for Hindus here, rejecting the notion that there would be "security issues" if a place of worship for the country's minority community is built.
"It is surprising and sad that there is not even a single temple in Islamabad for Hindu community to worship," lawmaker Ramesh Lal said while chairing the meeting of sub-committee of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Religious Affairs. It came as a shock to the committee members that there was no crematorium for the Hindu community in the capital, Dawn newspaper reported.
At least 500 Hindus are registered to be living in Islamabad, and had to travel to Rawalpindi to perform final rituals of their deceased, the committee was told. "This is how government is treating minorities in the country. It is the basic right of Hindus to have a temple in their own city for worship," Lal, who is convener of the parliamentary panel, said.
The parliamentary body rejected the concerns put forward by the government that there would be "security issues" if a temple is built for Hindus. "Hotels and restaurants are being provided security by the government, why a temple cannot be provided security," members of the committee asked.
Tariq Qaiser, one of the members of the parliamentary committee, also brought forth the matter of churches not receiving any financial assistance from the government for renovation.
The committee then directed the government to build a temple and crematorium for Hindus in Islamabad and allocate funds for renovation of churches. The committee has proposed allotment of land for the temple in Saidpur Village area.