By Hamza Ameer
Islamabad, July 3 (IANS) Days after the ground breaking ceremony at the land allocated for construction of a Hindu temple in Pakistan's capital, religious organisations have hyped up the pressure on the government and the capital's construction authority, prompting the authorities to stop construction work.
The first Hindu temple for Hindu minorities in Islamabad was recently allocated a land area of at least 4 kanals in Sector H-9/3 in Islamabad along with an additional fund of Rs 100 million, approved and released immediately by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
However, the decision did not go well with the religious organisations, who were quick to raise serious concerns over the construction of the temple in the capital, calling it against the norms and teachings of Islam.
In a fatwa against the construction of the temple, religious group 'Jamia Asharfia', an organisation comprising of leaders from different schools of thoughts of Islam, declared the construction of Hindu temple in Islamabad by the Iman Khan government against the Shariah.
"In a state, formed on the principles of Islam, preserving, maintaining and looking after the already present religious sites of other religions is correct as it provides them freedom to perform their religious rituals. However, construction of a new worship place of non-Muslims is not acceptable as per the Islamic Shariah," read the fatwa.
Another religious organization has issued a statement, saying that allocation and construction of a Hindu temple in Islamabad is a clear violation of the capital's master plan.
Ulema Mashaikh Federation of Pakistan (UMF), another religious organisation representing religious scholars from different schools of thoughts in Pakistan, has also condemned the government's decision to construct a Hindu temple in Islamabad and has announced July 5 as a day of condemnation against the decision.
"July 5 will be marked as a day of condemnation against the government's decision to construct a Hindu temple in Islamabad. We demand the government to reverse its decision with immediate effect," read the press release.
A petition has also been filed in the Islamabad High Court, challenging the federal government's decision to construct the temple.
The petition contented that the a temple for Hindus of Islamabad already existed in model village of Saidupur, located in Sector F-6 Islamabad, insisting that the government should renovate the existing one instead of constructing a new temple.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Religious Affairs Ministry, the Interior Ministry, the Union Council of Sector H-9 and the Capital Development Authority (CDA) have been made respondents in the case.
"The land allotted for the construction of the temple be withdrawn, along with the funds allocated for the project," advocate Tanveer Akhtar said in his petition.
The pressure and the uproar of the religious clerics has already shown its effect as the CDA has stopped the construction work on the site, amid increased threats piling up on the issue.
Sources within the CDA confirmed that the work on the site has been stopped as there is a petition in the Islamabad High Court, while the threat of religious groups is also serious.
New Delhi, Jan 25 (IANS) Riding on the stellar performance of iPhone 11 and XR, Apple for the first time doubled its smartphone market share in India to nearly 4 per cent in the festive quarter of 2020, a new report said on Monday.
Despite arriving in October, the iPhone 12 contributed significantly towards the rise of Apple in Q4 (October-December) in the country, according to data provided by market intelligence firm CyberMedia Research (CMR).
The tech giant registered over 60 per cent growth (yea-on-year) in its India business in the full year 2020 while for the festive quarter, the growth was an impressive 100 per cent (YoY).
The Apple iPad category saw 25 per cent growth (performance-wise) in Q4 and for the full year 2020, it logged 17 per cent growth.
For the calendar year 2020, Apple's total India smartphone share was about 2.4 per cent, which is a significant rise.
The tech giant registered over 60 per cent growth in its India business in the full year while for the festive quarter, the growth was an impressive 100 per cent.
"Apple continues its stellar run in the India smartphone market, gaining strength on the back of increased local manufacturing and strong marketing initiatives during the festive season," Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR, told IANS.
"In doing so, it continues to gain on its enduring aspirational appeal. In particular, the new 5G-capable iPhone shipments did extremely well during the fourth quarter. We believe Apple is on track to grow further and gain strength in the year ahead, as it unveils its new India initiatives on the back of its new online store, and upcoming flagship retail stores," Ram added.
Apple iPad's (YOY) growth was 42 per cent while in Q4 2020, it was a massive 135 per cent (Y-oY), according to the CMR data.
"Amid the pandemic, Apple iPad has continued to benefit from the prevailing remote learning needs. As an attractive companion device, the iPad has especially found favour with users seeking premium devices," said Menka Kumari, Analyst - Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR.
Apple CEO Tim Cook had revealed that the company set its September quarter record in India last year, also partly due to the launch of Apple Store Online that went live in the country on September 23, 2020.
"Geographically, we set September quarter records in America, Europe and the rest of Asia Pacific. We also set a September quarter record in India, thanks in part to a very strong reception to this quarter's launch of our online store in the country," Cook told analysts over the company's earnings call.
Targeting Android mid-segment users as well as aspirational iPhone seekers, Apple brought the new iPhone SE to India, that looks like Apple iPhone 8 with the power of the iPhone 11.
The company in September quarter opened a direct online store, giving it several new angles in its go-to-market strategy, such as utilising device trade-ins to provide purchase incentives or bundling AirPods with iPhones to make them more appealing.
The online store marked the first time that Apple offered its full line-up of products directly to the region's customers, who previously had to buy items through Amazon India, Flipkart, or other authorised sellers.