Special force for security of mandirs, churches on cards


KARACHI: After the recent attacks on worship places of minorities in Sindh, government was planning to form a special force for the security of temples and churches.Besides closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras would also be installed at worship places of minorities through out Sindh.This was decided at a meeting headed by Sindh Minister for Minorities Gyan Chand at Karachi. Leaders from minorities attended the meeting.Talking to Daily Times Gyan Chand said he sought various proposals from minorities’ leaders. He informed proposals would be presented to the chief minister Sindh shortly.He said local punchaits would be consulted and asked to nominate persons for the recruitment.In the proposals it is included walk-through gates would also be installed to big temples (mandirs), Gyan said. In the meeting it was decided to formulate committees on divisional levels in Sindh.Asked regarding the inquiry about recent attacks on various mandirs in Sindh, he was of the view so far investigation was going on. However no inquiry could be reached to the conclusion.There are around 1,800 mandirs in Sindh. Majority of mandirs in Sindh lie in Mirpurkhas, Sukkur and Larkana divisions. Mandirs in Larkana, Hyderabad, Tando Muhammad Khan, Tharparkar and Karachi were attacked in recent times.Parliamentary leader of Pakistan Muslim League (F) and sole opposition minority member in Sindh Assembly Nand Kumar Goklani welcomed the move.Although it is good news but I have some reservations regarding Gyan Chand’s attitude, which is cause of frustration among minorities, said Nand Kumar.There is vast difference between words and practical steps of Gyan Chand. He was even shy and remained absent from the Sindh Assembly (SA) sessions especially when his turn comes to reply ‘question answers session’, PML F lawmaker added.Apart from this minister should tell how many mandirs he has visited from the day he assumed the charge of Ministry, said Nand who hails from Sanghar.In SA there are nine minority’s members in total. Five members belong to Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), three to Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and only one member from opposition who belongs to Pakistan Muslim League (F).There is no female member from minority either from government or opposition benches.Poonjo Bheel Chairperson of Standing Committee on Minorities Affairs in SA and MQM MPA said situation was far worse than minority and majority’s issue. Law and order situation is worse in the country including Sindh.Even in recent times, Muslim worship places are not safe, he said. We would have to stop those hands that are involved in such attacks, Poonjo added. When there was attack on mandir in Tharparkar, I personally visited the place along with other political parties, said MPA from Umerkot.Joseph Coutts Archbishop of Karachi said this was good step being taken by the government. After all it is government’s responsibility to provide security to its citizens, he said.

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