According to official estimates, 75 lakh Hindus live in Pakistan. However, according to the community, over 90 lakh Hindus are living in the country. Also, reopening this particular temple would be a sign of relief to the devotees
Lahore: Pakistan has reopened 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, officials said on Monday (July 29).
The Shawala Teja Singh Temple, located in the city's congested Dharowal locality, some 100 km from Lahore, is more than 1,000 years old, according to a book, History of Sialkot by the late Rashid Niaz.
"The Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), 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 said.
Hashmi said since there was no Hindu population earlier residing in the city, the temple was closed for worship.
"The temple was partially damaged during the attacks on temples in reaction to Babri Mosque in 1992," he said, adding that the ETPB carried out restoration work of the temple on the direction of board chairman, Dr Amir Ahmed recently.
ETPB deputy director Fraz Abbas said that the restoration work of this temple is still underway and the board is expected to complete it shortly.
"The temple has been opened for worship for the first time since partition. Some 2,000 Hindus are residing in this locality, and they are so happy to visit their centuries-old worship place. Now a good number of local Hindus are visiting it. Hindus from other parts of the country are also expected to visit this temple," he said.
Abbas said the visiting Indian Hindus would also be taken to this temple.
Local Hindu leaders Rattan Laal 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 where they share culture, traditions and language with their Muslim fellows.
Last Updated Jul 30, 2019, 11:48 AM IST