Pakistani Hindus and human rights activists are calling on authorities in Karachi to halt the construction of an overpass, which they argue threatens the foundation of a 150-year-old Hindu temple.
According to reports in Pakistani media, activists have maintained the overpass construction, metres away from the 150-year-old Shri Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple, is creating vibrations that could severely damage the building’s structure.
After the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) sought the intervention of the Pakistan Supreme Court, Chief Justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jillani took action on the issue by ordering an environmental impact report from the government to be submitted within two weeks.
Arguing for the temple’s protection, the Pakistan Hindu Council said the skyscraper is being built on “evacuee property”, or land abandoned by Hindus during the Partition. Under Pakistani law, such property is supposed to be protected from development.
According to the Pakistan Hindu Council, around 25,000 pilgrims visit the temple during annual religious celebrations.
Many, including Pakistani journalists, condemned the construction of the overpass online and criticised the construction firm and the Sindh government.