Minorities of any hue in Pakistan, have never been safe and always been threatened. Prime Minister Imran Khan has often asserted that Pakistan’s minorities are safer under his rule than they have ever been. In June of this year, Khan approved a grant of PKR 100 million for the construction of a Hindu temple in Islamabad.
However, almost immediately a group of clerics opposed the building of the temple, and threatened action if it went ahead. The construction was also opposed by political parties, including the JUI-F and PML-Q. Hence, on Friday July 3, the Capital Development Authority stopped the construction of the boundary wall on the plot meant for the temple, citing ‘legal reasons.’ Further, news channels “claimed ‘victory’ when the construction was halted — an indication of how deeply religious discrimination has permeated every aspect of society.”
This is the same CDA that only recently “amicably ended a long stand-off with the Lal Masjid cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz by agreeing to give a piece of 20-kanal land for the construction of Jamia Hafsa in the capital.”
As an editorial in Dawn asked: “Why can’t the Hindu community be obliged in the same manner?” The editorial further stated “That intolerance has won the day is a sad indictment of the shrinking space for religious freedom in Pakistan.”