After outcry, Pak restores land for temple in Islamabad

Wednesday 17th November 2021 05:23 EST

Islamabad: The authorities in Islamabad have restored a piece of land allotted to the Hindu community for the construction of the first temple in the Pakistani capital following a huge public outcry after officials told a top court that the allotment had been cancelled. The Capital Development Authority (CDA) had revealed about the cancellation of the plot during the hearing of a case in the Islamabad high court, Dawn newspaper reported.

CDA’s counsel Javed Iqbal told the court that the civic agency had cancelled the plot for the Hindu community in February this year for not starting construction on it. According to the report, 0.5 acres of land was allotted to the community in 2016 for the construction of the first-ever Hindu temple, cremation and community centre. The CDA drew criticism both online and in mainstream media over the cancellation, forcing it to withdraw the notification.

CDA spokesperson Syed Asif Raza said that following a decision of the government, allotments of all lands issued to various offices, universities and other institutions on which no construction work had been started were cancelled. However, officials at the civic agency misinterpreted the cabinet decision and had cancelled the plot allotted to the Hindu community. He said approval had already been given for construction of a boundary wall on the land allotted for the temple, so the decision of the cabinet did not apply to it.

The spokesperson also shared a copy of the new allotment letter. Asked if the CDA will initiate any inquiry against those who misinterpreted the cabinet’s decision, he said there was no “bad intention. There was some sort of misinterpretation of the cabinet decision and when the matter was brought into the notice of high-ups, the allotment was restored immediately.”

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