supreme-court-of-pakistanThe Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the Evacuee Property Trust Board (EPTB) to start the reconstruction of a century-old samadhi (shrine) of a Hindu saint in the Karak district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that was damaged by a mob in December, while also directing the board to submit in court details of all functional and non-functional temples and gurdwaras across the country. During the hearing, a three-member bench headed by the chief justice also directed the EPTB to clear encroachments from temples across the country and take action against officials involved in the encroachments. Justice Ahmed remarked that the Karak incident had caused “international embarrassment to Pakistan”. The KP chief secretary, KP police chief, and Dr Suddle were also present during the hearing. Dr Suddle informed the court that the KP EPTB “did not protect the shrine”, upon which Justice Ijazul Ahsan questioned the inspector general on how the incident could have happened when there was a police check-post next to the shrine. “Where were your intelligence agencies?” he asked. The KP IG told the court that a protest by the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) was going on near the site on the day of the incident which was sponsored by Maulana Faizullah. “Out of the six ulema at the protest, only Maulvi Mohammad Sharif incited the crowd,” the police chief said. The EPTB chairman told the court that the shrine was run by the Hindu community itself and it was non-functional which was why EPTB officials were not present there. The bench directed that details of functional and non-functional shrines, records of disputes on EPTB lands and a report on the performance of the EPTB chairman be submitted to the court in two weeks. It also directed the KP branch of the EPTB to hold discussions with the provincial minorities’ commission. The apex court said a detailed judgement would be released later and adjourned the hearing for two weeks.