'Hindophobia' in Pakistan Stands in the Way of Building Islamabad's First Hindu Temple Despite Govt Approval

Published July 9th, 2020 - 09:40 GMT
'Hindophobia' in Pakistan Stands in the Way of Building Islamabad's First Hindu Temple Despite Govt Approval
Hindus are the second largest religious group in Pakistan, making up 4% of the country's population with more than 8 million people. (Twitter: @MunwarAliKhos13)

Despite Imran Khan's pledge to help the Hindu minority of Pakistan build their own temple in the country's capital to practice their faith, extremist Muslim groups exerted many efforts to hinder the construction of Islamabad's first mandir.

Weeks after the Pakistani government ordered the release of funds that goes into building the Shri Krishna Mandir, construction was halted; following Muslim teenage attack of the foundations of the building. Thus removing it in rejection of the temple, where Hindu Pakistanis are supposed to practice their religion for the first time in decades in the capital city.

The short video shows several young individuals destroying the foundation of the Hindu temple planned to be managed by Pakistan Hindu Panchayat, a local organization that serves as the political representative of the Hindu population in the country.

According to the Pakistan Hindu Council, there are at least 8 million Hindu Pakistanis living in the country as per 2018 statistics. 

Reacting to the video of the attack, many young Pakistanis expressed their anger at extremists; who constantly work on preventing citizens from other religious beliefs to practice their religion, especially Hindus.

Additionally, some users pointed out the hypocrisy in extremist Muslims' rhetoric protesting Indian laws that target the Muslim population of India while practicing the same kind of oppression towards the Hindu Pakistani population in their own country.

Some Muslim voices pointed at Islamic instructions given by the prophet Mohammad on "the significance of protecting non-Muslims' right to practice their religions," saying that "extremists who reject constructing the Hindu temple are going against Islamic values."

Up until 1992, Pakistan had more than 400 Hindu temples most of which were destroyed in retaliation attacks following an attack that destroyed the Babri Masjid by Hindu extremists in India. Today, the country has about 20 small temples that are reportedly suffering from neglect.

According to the Hindustan Times, almost 3000 Hindu Pakistanis live in Islamabad today and they all have to travel for miles to attend religious ceremonies or carry out cremation rituals of the dead.

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