KARACHI - The attack and torching of a temple incident in Hyderabad and possible danger to the infrastructure of another temple in Clifton, Karachi were echoed in the Sindh Assembly on Friday.
The lawmakers drew attention of the provincial government to take measures to ensure protection of the lives and worship places of the religious minorities in the province.
The House, which met in presence of only 15 members at 11:25am with Speaker Agha Siraj Ahmed Durrani in the chair on Friday, witnessed thin attendance during the daylong proceedings.
With smooth running of the proceedings, the House passed four resolutions including condemnation of threatening letter of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) to PPP’s chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
The young MPA of PTI, Khurram Sher Zaman drew attention of the House towards a construction work of a flyover and underpass, causing damage and a threat to the infrastructure of historical ‘Shiri Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple’ in Clifton in the City.
The lawmakers repeatedly raise the same issue, urging the government to look into it as if any damage occurred or the temple collapsed, the Muslims as well as the mosques may face backlash in the neighboring India.
PTI member said the temple was situated in his electoral constituency so the people from religious minority were approaching him to get attention of the government to take preventive measures regarding the possible loss to the temple.
He said the funds were required in maintaining as well as avoiding damage to the temple from ongoing construction work on flyover and underpass in Clifton area.
Sindh Parliamentary Affairs Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro, on behalf of the Sindh government, assured that Sindh Building Control Authority will look into the issue. He pledged no damage will occur to the temple.
Later, PML-F’s parliamentary leader in the Sindh Assembly Nand Kumar from the opposition benches informed the House that miscreants attacked ‘Kali Mata’ Temple at Hali Road in the wee hours of Friday in Hyderabad.
“The miscreants not only attacked the temple but all the gods and other material placed in the temple were put on fire,” he added. He said it could be a conspiracy to force the Hindus to leave Sindh. He urged the government to take measures to protect the lives and worship places of the religious minorities in the province.
Replying on the issues raised by the opposition MPAs’, Provincial Minister for Minority Affairs Gianchand Esrani told the House that DSP and SHO of the concerned area have been suspended for their negligence in timely action to save the Hindu temple. An inquiry was also under process into the unfortunate incident.
Meanwhile, replying to a call attention notice, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro told the House that Sindh government already decided to take steps to stop the influx of the people from Fata and other provinces coming as IDPs in Sindh.
He said the police and rangers’ check posts were being enhanced at the provincial boundaries of the province to control the people entering the province besides CCTV cameras were also being installed at the entry and exit points of the province.
He added the IDPs, coming from the North Wazirstan and other war-torn areas of the KPK, would be kept in segregated camps with their registration, fingerprints so that they could be repatriated timely to their provinces.
He admitted the terrorists had succeeded in entering the province with IDPs in the past so the government is taking measures to stop and segregate them.
To reply another call attention, Mandro said the deaths of children in the Thar area were related to multi factors including malnutrition, lack of medicines and illiteracy. He said the government was already making long-term plan for the development of Thar area.
After call attention notices, the Sindh Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution condemning the threat by banned LeJ militant group to Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. The assembly recommended the government of Sindh to approach the federal government to take serious notice of the threats and take necessary action for the protection of PPP leader.
The mover of the resolution Dr Abdul Sattar Rajar of PPP while speaking to media alleged that the government of Punjab especially its minister Rana Sanaullah was roaming with the terrorists and providing them protection. “Despite the ban, the leaders of the militant organisations are holding different events with the nod of provincial government,” he said.
Three other resolutions were also adopted by the provincial assembly. In a resolution moved by MQM MPA Sumeta Syed, the provincial assembly condemned the kidnapping and brutal murder of a lady health worker in Peshawar. It demanded the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and federal governments to take notice of the terrorist act and arrest the killers and give protection to the lady health workers.
Later, the Speaker adjourned the proceedings of the House to meet again on Monday.