Pakistan: Hindus raise concern after local administration builds boundary wall inside temple in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Karak


Karak: Hindu community in the historic town of Terri in Karak district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan have raised concerns over the encroachment of the Hindu temple premises by the district administration and construction of a boundary wall inside the temple premises.

A local cleric of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazi (JUI-F) named Hafiz Faizullah who runs a religious seminary near the temple, along with his local supporters raised various objections over the temple. After those objections, the district administration started the construction of a boundary wall inside the premises of the temple in the name of security and even the commissioner, deputy commissioner did not listen and considered any argument, reports The Express Tribune quoting an elderly Hindu man.

He added that the special assistant (minority affairs) Wazirzada to the province’s Chief Minister was not willing to solve the issue, fearing that this could annoy the local Muslims in the area.

Faizullah raised an objection that the word ‘Mandir’ has been written on the newly constructed building instead of Samadhi and the Hindu community had also expanded the building. He even objected to the construction of rooms that would accommodate the pilgrims at the temple, claiming that it would lead to the temple’s enlargement and goes against the agreement between the Hindu and Muslim communities, said members of the Hindu community.

Last year, a mob led by a local cleric Maulana Sharifullah of JUI-F and others had attacked the temple and demolished it completely.

After the incident, an FIR was lodged and several attackers were arrested by the police. But a Member of the Provincial Assembly of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party Ziaullah Bangash intervened and persuaded the government and Hindu community to forgive the people who were arrested for attacking the temple.

As Bangash had a personal interest in the incident, the negotiations reached between both the groups that reconstruction of the temple will be allowed by the Muslim community but the reconstruction will take place within the limits of ‘Sharia’.

Though the government allowed the reconstruction of the temple building, a controversy again flared up after the authorities did not allow the temple’s expansion. The community have also expressed concerns regarding the harassment being meted out to them over the issue.

“We received notices from the session court for the hearing of the attack case and we appeared before the court and informed it that the agreement is not being honoured. This could lead to the cancellation of the bails of all those involved in the attack. We have no option as the government is not listening to us,” said The Express Tribune quoting the elderly Hindu man.

“One of them is Hafiz Faizullah and the other is Abdullah Shah. Shah is the man who moved court against the temple before the attack when Hindu community refused to buy his land for expansion,” local PTI leader Shafiq said.

Last month a Hindu temple was vandalised at Khipro in the Sanghar district of Pakistan’s Sindh province on the auspicious occasion of Krishna Janmashtami.

In recent years, there has been a surge in attacks on places of worship of religious minorities in Pakistan. The country has been repeatedly slammed by the international community for not safeguarding the interest of its minorities. (ANI)