ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday issued notice to the Capital Development Authority (CDA) regarding construction of a Hindu temple in the federal capital.
A single bench of the IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq heard the petition of Chaudhary Tanveer Akhtar, advocate, and directed the CDA to submit a reply on the petition against the construction of a temple in Islamabad.
During the hearing, the petitioner requested the court that the land allotted for the construction of the Hindu temple in Sector H-9 of Islamabad should be withdrawn along with the funds allocated for the project.
The counsel added that a temple already existed in Saidpur Village of the federal capital, and the government could have renovated it.
The land given for temple construction in H-9 is a violation of Islamabad's master plan.
The petitioner maintained that the master plan of Islamabad should be implemented, and a restraining order should be issued against the construction of the temple.
He continued that in Sector H-9, the government did not announce funds for a mosque but released funds for the construction of the temple.
Justice Farooq remarked that the CDA should state whether the temple in H-9 was part of the master plan of Islamabad or not.
However, the IHC bench also observed that the minorities had full rights and the government also had to take care of them.
The petitioner, Chaudhary Tanveer Akhtar, filed the petition, and cited principal secretary to the prime minister, federal minister for religious affairs, federal minister for interior, chairman CDA, and chairman CDA board as respondents.
Tanveer stated in his petition that he came to know that the CDA had allotted some portion of land for construction of a Hindu Temple in Sector H-9 of Islamabad and now the Government of Pakistan was going to raise the construction of the temple from the treasury of the government.
He adopted that the state was responsible to provide health, education and justice for public but this directive on the part of respondents had raised a lot of questions.
"The district judiciary Islamabad is functioning in rented premises since long ago, the government has failed to provide the facility of construction of judicial complex and public are suffering from one door to the other door," the petition maintains.
The petition added that the public of Pakistan were suffering, and the respondents were going to construct the temple in a sensitive area.
The petitioner argued that the respondents were committing an illegal and wrong act as Sector H-9 was acquired by the CDA and as per the master plan of the CDA, there was no existing provision for the construction of a temple in that sector, which was also a panic condition for the public of Mouza Saita, who were the landlords of that area. He added that it was necessary to mention here that Sector H-9 was acquired from Muslim community.
He contended that the law of the land permitted the minorities to perform their religious affairs within specified parameter as per the law but there was no provision in the Constitution of Pakistan that the government would construct new temples or other places of worship for the minorities.
"If the respondent starts this work then in future other minorities of this country will come as per choice select the place as well as demand to construct their worship place, which will be a sensitive issue for Islamic Republic of Pakistan and its nation," said the petitioner.
Therefore, he prayed before the court to issue directions to the respondents to withdraw the allotment letter of temple in H-9 Islamabad and order of allocation of funds for construction of temple may be withdrawn in the interest of public at large.