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Pakistani Hindus Protest After Temple Demolition

on 2012/12/11 4:12:58 ( 2128 reads )

"The temple was over 50 years old," Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, founder of the Pakistan Hindu Council, told The Wall Street Journal's India Real Time. He said demonstrations would continue until the government responded, adding that "this is the third such incident in three months."

It was unclear who was responsible for Saturday's reported demolition, with some media claiming it was the work of a local builder who had given notice to residents in 2007 to vacate the properties. But the Pakistan Hindu Council blamed officials from the municipal government, the Cantonment Board Clifton.
Zeenat Ahmed, Military Lands and Cantonment Director at the Cantonment Board, claimed the temple was "untouched." "The builder had possession of the place... and these people were encroachers, and encroachers have no religion," the Press Trust of India quoted her as saying.

Local police claimed the temple didn't even exist, according to a report in the Express Tribune on Sunday. "There was no temple there. There were just Hindu Gods present inside the houses and we made sure that they were safe," it quoted Pervaiz Iqbal of Nabi Buksh police station as saying.

Just 1.6% of Pakistan's 137 million population is Hindu, according to the 1998 census. According to the Pakistan Hindu Council, around 20 to 25 Hindu families are leaving the country's Sindh province, the capital of which is Karachi, for other nations every week. "The problem is there is no safety and protection for minority communities," Mr. Vankwani said. "We don't need to migrate, we need protection of our lives and property in Pakistan."

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