KP govt fails to allocate funds for minority communities

ISLAMABAD: The KP government has failed to allocate land for a shamshan ghat promised to the Hindu community so far.

A protest was held in the capital of KP after the death of Tulsi Das, a member of the Hindu community on Sunday, when he was buried in the old graveyard of Peshawar without the last cremation. According to statistics, more than 50,000 people of Hindu and Sikh community live in various areas of the KP.

Advisor to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa CM Ravi Kumar announced some six months ago that the Tehreek-e-Insaf government had allocated 100 million in the Annual ADP for the minority community of the province. “The government will get land for the shamshan gath as well for the graveyards of the Christian community living in the province,” he had said.

When contacted KP Awqaf and Religious Affairs Minister Habibur Rehman said that he was not dealing with the issues facing minorities after the CM nominated a non-elected person from Mardan. Haroon Sarabdyal, a minority rights activist, said that earlier funds had been allocated for the rights of minorities in the province. “The money lapsed in the end as the public account committee did not take action on this. The same is the case this year. Three months remain in the government’s tenure. In the end, the money will lapse and no public account committee will take action to inquire about the money,” he said. Sarabdyal said that there were only one graveyard in Peshawar city for minority communities. “However, mafias and other powerful people have occupied the land of the minority community. The Hindu community has only one shamshan ghat in Attock. Due to limited resources, the community is not able to perform cremations in that area,” he said.

“The minority community living in the far areas of the province and Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) bury their dead in the Muslim community graveyards as they have no other option,” Haroon Said. When contacted, Adviser to CM Ravi Kumar from the Hindu community said that they had allocated the money in the annual development programme for the graveyards of all the minority communities in the province. “However, we have still not been able to get land for them. We are trying to get land for the shamshan gath. However, still the process is ongoing,” he said.

Published in Daily Times, January 23rd 2018.