ISLAMABAD (PTI) Pakistan’s Supreme Court has ordered the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to get a Hindu temple restored and reconstructed after it was ‘dismantled’ in 1997 and later occupied by a cleric.
Lawmaker Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, patron of the Pakistan Hindu Council, had asked the court to intervene into the frequent desecration of Hindu temples, including occupation of Shri Paramhans Ji Maharaj’s Samadhi in Teri village in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Karak district by a cleric.
Vankwani said the provincial chief secretary, the inspector general of police and the local commissioner informed him that the Hindu notable in whose name the temple was built had converted to Islam.
Additional Advocate General Waqar Ahmed told a two-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk that efforts were being made for an amicable settlement of the matter, Dawn News reported.
The court after hearing the arguments yesterday ordered the provincial government to restore and preserve the Karak temple.
A Hindu shrine was constructed at a place where Shri Paramhans Ji Maharaj died in 1919 and buried in Teri village, the report said.
His followers used to visit the place to pay their respects and the practice continued till 1997 when some Muslim fanatics dismantled the temple.
The followers of Shri Paramhans Ji tried to build the temple on the place allegedly occupied by a local religious leader, who did not allow them, it said.
Hindu elders from Sindh then intervened and tried to negotiate and even paid Rs 375,000 as the cost of the land to the cleric in 1997, and even after receiving the money, he refused to vacate the property.