In a first, a ceremony was held to start construction of a Hindu temple in the federal capital, Dawn reported.
According to reports, a crematorium will also be built in Islamabad for the Hindu community, members of which earlier had to travel out of the city to perform religious rituals.
The Krishna temple will be constructed on a 20,000 sq ft plot in the H-9 sector, and has been named Shri Krishna Mandir by the Islamabad Hindu Panchayat.
According to Religious Affairs Minister Pir Noorul Haq Qadri, the government will bear the construction cost, presently estimated to be Rs100,000,000.
Parliamentary Secretary on Human Rights Lal Chand Malhi had on Tuesday performed the groundbreaking ceremony for the temple.
While addressing the gathering at the ceremony, Malhi mentioned the presence of pre-1947 era temple structures in the capital and its adjoining areas, including one in Saidpur Village and at the hill point overlooking the Korang River near Rawal Lake. However, they have been abandoned and not used.
“Besides, there is no crematorium in Islamabad,” he said, adding the Hindu population in Islamabad had increased significantly in two decades, therefore, the temple was necessary.
“The Hindu community in Islamabad has been demanding a temple for a long time now. The population has also increased while many Hindu temple structures in the capital have been abandoned,” he said. “Besides, there is no crematorium in Islamabad.”
The plot on which the temple is being built was allotted to the Hindu Panchayat by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) in 2017. However, the construction work could not begin on time because of some formalities, like the site map’s approval by the CDA and other authorities.