February 03, 2014
Magha Shukla Panchami, Kaliyug Varsha 5115
PESHAWAR: The Hindu community has voiced strong disapproval over Health Minister Shaukat Yousafzai’s order to remove the security gate from Pir Ratan Nath Temple which was constructed after a police constable was shot dead outside the place of worship last week.
In a press statement, All Pakistan Hindu Rights Movement Chairman Haroon Sarbdyal spoke out against the issue. He said two days ago, the minister visited the area where residents complained that the gate was a hurdle for traffic. Yousafzai then ordered the police to remove it.
“The security gate was constructed by the Hindu community to protect itself and the police guards against such attacks in the future,” said Sarbdyal, “But the minister ordered its removal without even consulting us.”
He lamented the police had safeguarded their stations and other government and religious buildings by placing blockades and barbed wires around them, whereas one step taken by the Hindu community to protect themselves was not acceptable to Yousafzai. “We may be a minority, but we are citizens of Pakistan and have equal rights,” said Sarbdyal.
In his defence, Yousafzai said he had earlier ordered the capital city police officer to sit down with locals and resolve the issue amicably. He stressed his intention was to facilitate all inhabitants of the locality.