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Minorities’ worship places in KP to get solar panels, sound systems

Minorities’ worship places in KP to get solar panels, sound systems

KOHAT: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to equip all the temples, gurdawaras and churches with solar panels and sound systems so that the religious minorities could perform their rituals without any hindrance.

This was stated by special assistant to the chief minister on minorities’ affairs Sardar Soran Singh during a visit to the under-construction hall of the Guru Mandar here on Monday. The construction would cost Rs1.3 million. He announced another Rs4 million for the new hall and installation of solar panels.

He said that the provincial government had approved Rs3 million for the repair and functioning of the cremation place (Shamshan Gath) of Hindu community for which they had to go to Kurram Agency to perform the ritual in the past.

The recently opened place at the border with Orakzai Agency in Alizai would be revamped to rid the people from taking bodies to Parachinar from Kohat. He said that the feasibility report for the repair of all the religious places of the minorities was ready and soon work would be started on the project for their preservation according to the sentiments of the people. Mr Singh said that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led government had raised the job quota for minorities by 100 per cent which was unprecedented.

Traders’ protest

Hundreds of businessmen of the new fruit and vegetable market marched from the new bus stand to the tehsil municipal administration offices covering over 10 kilometres distance to protest against private fruit markets.

Earlier, divisional president of fruit and vegetable markets Saifullah Khan presided over a meeting in which the businessmen unanimously set a four-day deadline to the district administration to stop private markets from functioning. They warned to hold an indefinite hunger strike if their demand was not met.

The nazims and councillors also attended the march and the meeting in support of the protesting business community which was suffering big losses due to the functioning of private markets in close proximity to the bazaar.

Prominent traders Fayyaz Afridi, Mohammad Ayaz, Ahmad Khan and Mohammad Shehzad also joined the protest march. They alleged that the administration, which forced them to shift to the new place, had now taken hefty bribe from the private market owners and issued them NOCs.

They recalled that the TMA had struck an agreement before their shifting that no private market would be allowed within 15 kilometres of the new market, but the agreement was violated. When contacted, the officials said that they could not do anything because the private market owners had obtained orders by the court.

Published in Dawn, December 8th, 2015

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