Pakistan: 1,200-year-old Hindu temple restored after Christian ‘owners’ evicted

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

A 1,200-year-old Hindu temple in Pakistan’s Lahore was opened to the public after it was reclaimed from a Christian family who claimed to be the owners, following a protracted legal battle.

Pakistan’s federal Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) reclaimed possession of the Valmiki temple last month, reported news agency Press Trust of India.

On Wednesday, the temple was formally inaugurated in the presence of over 100 Hindus and some Sikh, Christian and Muslim leaders, said ETPB spokesperson Amir Hashmi.

“Valmiki Temple will be fully restored in accordance with a master plan in the coming days,” he was quoted as saying.

He added that Hindu devotees performed rituals and had langar – or food from a free communal kitchen.

The place of worship, situated in Lahore’s Anarkali market, is reportedly one of the city’s two Hindu temples, the other being the Krishna temple.

The Christian family which had converted to Hinduism had claimed to be the rightful owners and filed a case in court.

According to ETPB, the temple’s land had been transferred to it in revenue records but the family had filed a case in 2010-11 claiming to be the owners.

The federal body added that the family had also restricted access to the temple only for Valmiki Hindus, a religious sect that worships the sage Valmiki known as the author of the Hindu epic, the Ramayana.

“This time, the court also reprimanded the petitioner for false claims,” the ETPB said.

“The ETPB’s move was a goodwill gesture and also a step towards mainstreaming the community and should be applauded,” Pakistan Hindu Mandir Management Committee (PHMMC) president Krishan Sharma was quoted as saying to the Dawn newspaper.

ETPB chairman Habibur Rahman Gilani presided over a meeting of the Pakistan Hindu Temple Management Committee, which looks after the community’s temples in the country, later on Wednesday.

The meeting, through a unanimous resolution, took note of the federal body reclaiming control of the temple and appreciated the renovation work done on it.

The members said all possible measures would be taken for the protection of the temples and the welfare of the Hindu community.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting