Friday, December 26, 2008

Balochistan lawmakers oppose dam construction near temple

Balochistan lawmakers oppose dam construction near temple
29 Jun 2008, 1251 hrs IST,PTI

ISLAMABAD: Lawmakers in Pakistan's southwest Balochistan assembly have
demanded that the federal government drop plans to build a dam in the
region as the structure will damage a historical Hindu temple visited
by thousands of pilgrims every year.

In a joint resolution moved by several provincial ministers and backed
by all lawmakers, except one, members of the assembly wanted the
federal government to cancel plans for building the dam on Hangol
river that would pass near the Makran coastal highway close to the
Hinglaj Mata temple.

The temple, which could be endangered by the proposed dam, is visited
each year by thousands of Hindu pilgrims, especially during the grand
annual religious festival in April.

Balochistan' s Irrigation and Power Minister Sardar Muhammad Aslam
Bizenjo along with several provincial ministers moved the joint
resolution in the assembly opposing the construction of the dam.

"We request the government to respect the sentiments of our fellow
Hindu brothers. If the temple is damaged, Pakistan's image on the
global front would be tarnished and Hindus living all across the world
would be hurt over our inability to protect our religious minorities,"
the resolution said.

"We therefore request the government to construct the dam elsewhere to
ensure the protection of the Hinglaj Mata temple," it said.


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