Pakistan authorities have handed over a 200-year-old temple to the Hindu community in Zbob, Balochistan. The Hindu temple was used as a government school for over 30 years but now the school has been shifted to another place reports the Dawn.
The keys to the doors of the four-room temple building were handed over to the Hindu community leaders at a ceremony held outside the temple. Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Commissioner Saleem Taha said: “It is an important and historic day for Balochistan, particularly Zhob.” He said that Maulana Kakar (leader of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam) had not only backed the governments’ decision to hand over the temple building to the Hindu community but also attended the event as a chief guest. “This is a great example of religious harmony.”
Taha also regretted the 70-year delay in returning the temple to the Hindu community and said that the temple building would be refurbished to its original condition. After the renovation, members of the Hindu community would be able to use it as a place of worship.
Saleem Jan said that the temple was 200 years old and that after the creation of Pakistan majority of the Hindu community people had moved to India from Zhob, but still, there is a large population of them in the city.
He said that Chief Justice of the Balochistan High Court Jamal Khan Mandokhel had recently visited Zhob and on that occasion, the Hindu community had requested him to return the temple building to them. Justice Khan had assured the Hindu community that the building would be handed over to them.
He said that the local Sikh community had also been deprived of their gurdwara for a long time and they had no place to perform their religious rituals. The gurdwara building also housed a government school, he said.
Published in The Dawn