The CDA allocated four Kanals of land to the Hindu community in Islamabad in 2017. This land was allotted to the Hindu community for the construction of temple in Islamabad. The CDA, however, prohibited the community from building a border wall around the site last year due to pressure from right-wing religious organizations. The CDA had terminated the assignment of the temple in Islamabad site in February 2021 because building had not commenced, according to a hearing before the Islamabad High Court on Monday. As a result of the outcry on social media, the CDA was forced to restore the allocation within a few hours.
Around 3,000 Hindus in Islamabad and the surrounding regions may now have a dedicated venue to conduct religious ceremonies and hold festivals as a result of this action. Despite the erratic behavior of the authorities, the pressure among public regarding the matter soared, encouraging the government to stick to the decision to allow Hindu minority their constitutional freedom to practice their faith.
However, if the state is reluctant to take action to safeguard marginalized groups, public pressure alone will not be effective. In this backdrop, Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed’s last-week inauguration of a repaired temple in Karak, KP, was a significant show of solidarity for Pakistan’s minority populations. A mob headed by members of a far-right religious group desecrated the Teri temple in Islamabad in December of last year.
His visit not only demonstrated the Supreme Court’s support for the Hindu community, but also conveyed a message to extreme organizations that the state will not always bow to their demands. These are essential moves, but they won’t be adequate until they’re accompanied with reformative improvements like those described in Tassaduq Jillani’s 2014 Supreme Court judgement.