Pakistan’s Sindh government will install CCTVs to protect the worship places of religious minorities, including the temples, churches and gurdwaras, some of which dates back to hundreds of years and have faced arson attacks in the past.
The ambitious Rs 400 million project would mainly invest in the purchase of surveillance cameras to be installed at places of worship across Sindh province, officials said.
“The provincial government had initiated a project in which security surveillance cameras would be installed at temples, churches and gurdwaras. This project will greatly enhance the level of security at places of worship,” Khatumal Jeewan, special assistant to the Chief Minister of Sindh was quoted as saying by the Dawn.
He said the project, estimated to cost around Rs 400 million, involved setting up modern surveillance and monitoring systems at places of worship using multiple video cameras installed at strategic locations around it.
“All video cameras will be cable connected to a central room located in a back office on the premises away from the monitored areas. It will also contain video monitoring and recording equipment,” he said.
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Officials said the project was planned after Pakistan People’s Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari promised “full security for minorities’ worship places” following violent attacks on temples in Larkana, Hyderabad and other districts of Sindh in the past two years.
The Sindh Police have documented 1,253 places of worship belonging to the religious minorities including Hindus, Sikhs and Christians, some of which dates back to hundreds of years.
These include 703 Hindu temples, 523 churches, besides 21 places belonging to the Ahmadi community and six gurdwaras.
A total of 2,310 policemen have been deputed to guard all these places, though, officials conceded that the deployment of security was generally disproportionate and needed an overhaul.
The Sindh province is home to most of Pakistan’s Hindus (approximately 93 per cent) and form 8.5 per cent of the province’s population.