December 7, 2019 | 6:49 AM IST
pakistan temple

Pak opens 1,000 temple for worship in 70 years; Imran Khan vows protecting minority places of worship

For the first time after partition, Pakistan on Monday opened a 1,000-year-old temple for Hindu devotees in eastern city of Sialkot’s congested Dhaarowal locality. The Shawala Teja Singh temple has also been mentioned in Late Rashid Niaz’s book, ‘History of Sialkot’.
The Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) which looks after the holy shrines of minorities in Pakistan has already initiated the process. The temple was partially damaged during attacks on temples in Pakistan in reaction to Babri Mosque in 1992 but the restoration work of the temple is underway on the direction of the Board chairman Dr Amir Ahmed recently, said ETPB spokesperson Amir Hashmi. He also added that as there was no Hindu population in the area, the temple was closed for worship.
He was quoted saying, “now there are some 2,000 Hindus residing in the locality and they are happy to visit their centuries old worship. Hindus from other parts of the country are also expected to visit the temple. As per the official number about 75 lakh Hindus live in Pakistan.
Incidentally, Pakistan Prime minister Imran Khan on Monday referring to the practice of forced conversions in the country as ‘un-Islamic’. Addressing a function on National Minorities Day at the Aiwane-Sadr (President’s House’ in Islamabad Khan pledged to protect and develop places of worship of minorities of Pakistan.

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