ISLAMABAD: The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has condemned the mob attack and desecration of a temple of the Hindu community in Bhong Sharif.
The attack occurred on August 4 but most of the religious groups and religo-political parties have failed to condemn the incident instigated by a local cleric.
In a statement on Monday, the CII said: “Like the lives and property of non-Muslim minorities living in Pakistan, the protection of their places of worship is the legal responsibility of the state.”
The CII said no individual or group can be allowed to damage and harass non-Muslim communities in the country.
“Demolishing any of their religious places of worship is a clear violation of Islamic law and Pakistani law,” the statement said, adding that all perpetrators of this crime must be prosecuted in accordance with law.
The council welcomed the government’s decision to rebuild the demolished temple and praised the chief justice of Pakistan for taking a commendable step which was expected to lead to significant progress in bringing the evil elements to justice.
The CII also lauded the action taken by the Punjab government to arrest the suspects.
The Constitution of Pakistan, in which minorities enjoy religious freedom and all civil rights, has been violated, which the council strongly condemns, the statement said.
The council also said Paigham-i-Pakistan was an important national document which guaranteed the protection of lives and property of all non-Muslim citizens as well as the protection of places of worship. But the attack on the temple has also violated this document, it added.
Meanwhile, a senior member of the National Commission for Minorities said eight such attacks have occurred in the last two years in the country.
“This is a serious issue and despite a proactive approach taken by the government and authorities, mob attacks on temples have increased,” the member said, adding that there was a need to award harsh punishment to those involved in such attacks.
Published in Dawn, August 10th, 2021