Pakistan has opened a 1,000-year-old Hindu temple in eastern city Sialkot for “worship” for the first time since partition on the demand of the local Hindu community.
The Shawala Teja Singh temple, located in city’s congested Dharowal locality, some 100-km from Lahore, is more than 1,000 years old, according to the book ‘History of Sialkot’ by the late Rashid Niaz.
“The Evacuee Trust Property Board, which looks after the holy places of minorities in Pakistan, has opened Shawala Teja Singh temple after the partition on the demand of the local Hindu community,” ETPB spokesperson Amir Hashmi told PTI.
He added that since there was no Hindu population earlier residing in the city the temple was closed for worship.
“The temple was partially damaged during attacks on temples here in reaction to Babri Mosque in 1992,” he said, adding that the ETPB carried out restoration work of the temple. The restoration work of this temple is still underway and the board is expected to complete it shortly.
Local Hindu leaders Rattan Lal and Rumaish Kumar have welcomed the government’s step to restore the temple and open it for the minority community.
Hindus form the biggest minority community in Pakistan. Majority of Pakistan’s Hindu population is settled in Sindh province
According to official estimates, 75 lakh Hindus live in Pakistan. However, according to the community, over 90 lakh Hindus are living in the country.
Source : Various