A 200-year-old Sikh temple that served as a college for Muslim ladies for seven many years was returned to the Sikh neighborhood in Quetta, enabling them to worship there for the primary time in 73 years, officers mentioned Thursday.
The temple stood empty for a yr or two when most Sikhs left Pakistan for neighbouring India after the British partitioned the subcontinent into separate nations in 1947, following two centuries of colonial rule.
Below the federal government’s guardianship, a college was later arrange within the temple constructing, which remained purposeful till not too long ago, when Sikhs gained a authorized battle to have the property returned, temple custodian Govind Singh mentioned.
He mentioned Sikhs residing in Quetta have been delighted to get again to their temple.
“That is the very best present for us. We’re grateful to Pakistan and the judiciary for giving it again to us,” native Sikh chief Jasbir Singh mentioned. “For us, it is sort of a dream come true.”
Members of the Sikh neighborhood arrive for worship on the Gurudawara Sri Guru Singh Sabha temple in Quetta, Pakistan, Thursday, July 23, 2020.
Singh spoke as jubilant members of the Sikh neighborhood, adhering to social distancing guidelines to keep away from the unfold of the coronavirus, gathered on the temple to worship.
The temple couldn’t be returned to the Sikhs earlier due to a lingering authorized battle between native Sikhs and the provincial authorities, Singh mentioned. Abdullah Khilji, an official on the training division in Balochistan, mentioned tons of of schoolgirls who have been learning on the temple constructing have been relocated to a close-by faculty the place they’ve since adjusted.
The event comes at a time when Pakistan’s tiny Hindu minority is going through resistance from Muslim activists for trying to construct a temple within the capital. Initially, the federal government authorised its development, however then reversed the choice after Muslims objected.
A council of clerics is at present deliberating whether or not the temple’s development must be allowed.
Nevertheless, there was no different resistance to the development or renovation of Sikh temples in Pakistan, the place the federal government of Prime Minister Imran Khan has supported the development of one of many largest Sikh shrines to Guru Nanak, the founding father of the Sikh faith, which is called Gurdwara Darbar Sahib.
Members of the Sikh neighborhood participate in worship on the Gurudawara Sri Guru Singh Sabha temple in Quetta, Pakistan, Thursday, July 23, 2020.
It’s the second-holiest place within the Sikh religion and is situated on the Ravi River simply 4.5 kilometres (three miles) from Pakistan’s border with India.
The shrine is seen from the Indian aspect of the border.
Presently, no Indian Sikhs are visiting shrines in Pakistan due to a journey ban imposed by their authorities to comprise the unfold of the coronavirus, which has additionally triggered 5,709 deaths and 269,191 infections throughout Pakistan.
Pakistan and India have a historical past of bitter relations and have fought two of their wars since gaining independence from Britain.
(This story has been revealed from a wire company feed with out modifications to the textual content. Solely the headline has been modified.)
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