PESHAWAR: A senior lawyer of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) has criticised Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led provincial government for not protecting an ancient Hindu temple situated in Mohalla Wangri Gran in Karimpura in the city. He said the temple had been demolished and a commercial plaza was built in its place.
Speaking at a news conference at Peshawar Press Club on Saturday, Moazzam Butt, a senior lawyer of PHC, along with a resident of Peshawar Mohibur Rehman, said a group of people secretly demolished the temple to build a commercial plaza on the land even though the provincial government had imposed a ban.
“The Constitution of Pakistan guarantees equal rights to all citizens,” Rehman said. “It is the responsibility of the government to protect holy places of minorities living in the country.”
“We do not have any personal interest in the matter,” he added. “However, as a Muslim it is our duty to raise voice for the protection of holy places of minorities. It is an injustice with the minorities and we will never allow anyone to demolish the holy places of other religions.”
Butt lashed out at PTI chief Imran Khan and said people trusted him and gave votes to PTI to resolve their issues. “PTI is wasting time through sit-ins and protests,” he added.
Butt said they had challenged the demolition of the temples in the high court and got stay orders.
“After 18th Constitutional Amendment, all departments have been devolved to provincial level,” he said. “It is now the responsibility of provincial government to protect the rights of citizens.” He said the temple should be handed over to Directorate of Archives and Libraries to protect the site.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2016.