A ceremony was held on Wednesday in Rahim Yar Khan’s Bhong town to mark the restoration of Ganesh Temple as the country observed the National Minorities Day.
A mob on August 4 vandalized the temple after news of bail being granted to a nine-year-old Hindu boy — who was accused of urinating in a seminary — angered the crowd. The mob vandalized the temple, smashing idols and damaging the property.
The Supreme Court in a suo moto case on August 5 ordered immediate arrest of the culprits and restoration of the temple, adding the expenses would be recovered from the people who had vandalized the temple.
At least 40 people have been arrested in the case.
Addressing Wednesday's restoration ceremony, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MNA Dr Ramesh Kumar said: “Our emotions were hurt when the temple was desecrated. However, we followed teachings of our religion which preaches patience.”
He commended the efforts of Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed for speedy notice of the violence and the directives issued by Prime Minister Imran Khan for the immediate restoration of the temple.
“The state has fulfilled its responsibility [with the restoration of the temple] and proved that it is with the minorities,” he said, adding the Constitution of Pakistan talk about non-Muslim citizens and doesn’t label them minorities.
The lawmaker said religious scholars need to play their role in guiding people on appropriate behaviors. “The boy should have been guided when he committed the act mistakenly,” he said, adding scholars should guide people to promote interfaith harmony.
Taking to Twitter, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said the restoration of temple on the National Day of Minorities proved the government gives importance to rights of minorities.
On the occasion of Minorities Day, Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari took to Twitter to describe the importance of August 11.
“National Minorities Day - 11 Aug - is a reaffirmation of the vision of Quaid-i-Azam and a commitment to uphold the rights of Minorities embodied in our Constitution,” she said in a message on Twitter.
In another message on Twitter, she said: “Today we must renew this [Quaid’s] commitment and ensure that the human rights of all our citizens are protected.”