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Posted at: May 17, 2018, 2:11 AM; last updated: May 17, 2018, 2:11 AM (IST)

Pak Sikh leader moves court, seeks funds for crematorium

Peshawar, May 16

A Sikh leader in northwest Pakistan has filed a petition in the Peshawar High Court urging it to direct the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government to allocate funds to build a crematorium for the community in the provincial capital so that they can cremate their dead instead of burying them.

Sikh community leader Guru Gurpal Singh, through his lawyer, submitted the writ petition in the court on Tuesday, saying the provincial government had allocated Rs 30 million in the 2017-18 budget to build a crematorium for the Sikh community and a graveyard for Christians in the city.

However, the government is yet to release funds for these projects nor has it made any plans for these projects.

Gurpal Singh said about 60,000 Sikhs lived in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, including 15,000 who lived in Peshawar alone. Despite that, there was no crematorium where Sikh mourners could carry out the last rites of their loved ones. The petitioner noted that the number of cremations was likely to increase in the future.

“Against their religious teachings, they are forced to bury dead one,” he said in his petition, adding that the nearest crematorium is located near Attock, 45 km from Peshawar. His lawyer Muhammad Khurshid said the Constitution of Pakistan provided that every citizen had the right to life with dignity, at the same time it was also their innate rights to perform their final rites as per their beliefs. — PTI


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