SC seeks stance from provincial authorities on application of Hindu community

KARACHI: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday directed provincial authorities to submit a concise statement on an application of Hindu community seeking access for pilgrim to a century-old-temple located in Tando Adam.

Three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Tasadduq Hussain Jillani gave this direction while hearing an application of Hindu community against denial of access to their members to an old temple.

CJP had taken notice of the issue on an application of the Hindu community and clipped the matter with another application regarding attack on church in Peshawar.

Applicant Atam Parkash, represented by advocate Nadeem Sheikh said that temple, which is spread over 7.12 acres, had historical and archaeological significance and devotees from other parts of the country and abroad visited it to perform their rituals. He said that due to the law and order situation in the late 1950s in the area, most Hindus left their homes and moved to the adjacent areas.

In the meantime, he said, the provincial government allotted a portion of the temple land to the education department to establish Dr Ziauddin Primary School on the premises.

He said the attitude of the school administration, particularly of the school headmaster, was hostile towards the minority members, who were prohibited and prevented from entering the temple.

Three-member bench also sought comments from the provincial government on an application filed by All Pakistan Hindu Panchayat seeking handing over of Hindu Gymkhana Karachi which was leased to National Academy of Performing Arts, to their community.

During the hearing, head of the Pakistan Hindu Council Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani requested the court to issue directions against kidnapping of Hindu girls and their forced conversion and marriage. CJP said that they could not pass any such direction as forced conversions, marriages and kidnapping were individual cases and court of competent jurisdiction deals with such matters.

He remarked that laws existed on the rights of minorities and he wanted only enforcement of such laws. He said that neither Islam nor country’s constitution allowed the forced conversions.

Chief Justice further said that the court would pass appropriate orders only if it finds any violation of laws on rights of minorities.

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