Pakistan temples in dilapidated condition

The Pakistan's Evacuee Properties Trust Board (PEPTB) has allotted 22 bighas along the Ravi in Lahore for a cremation ground for the first time after Partition. It is considered to be a goodwill gesture. Earlier, the government
of Pakistan had allowed celebrations of Basant and Lohri in Lahore.

According to Rashmi Talwar, a jatha member, the condition of Katasraj Temple is pitiable. She said houses had come up after the demolition of many temples in the heart of Lahore. t of the temple sites had been converted into business establishments.

However, in a representation to the PEPTB, the jatha suggested that a bus service from Amritsar to Katasraj should be started. The representation also sought relaxation of visa restrictions.

The pilgrims alleged that the government of Pakistan was not even allowing local Hindus to look after the temples on the pattern of Sikh gurdwaras.

A question had also been raised in Indian Parliament about the demolition of temples in Pakistan. It was alleged that after the demolition of Babri Masjid, 242 temples were damaged in Pakistan.

Members of the Kendriya Sanatan Dharm Sabha, including Mr Harish, Mr Madan Lal Khushdil and Mr S.S. Sharma, said many temples were in ruins. They said only about a dozen temples, out of a total of 192, were left.
Mr Shiv Partap Bajaj, president of the sabha (North India), said religious monuments would disappear if attention was not paid to their maintenance. He said the plea to the Pakistan government in 1983, through a memorandum to
Gen Zia-ul Haq, the then President of Pakistan, had not been considered.

Meanwhile, the renovation of Katasraj Temple has been undertaken by the Evacuee Property Board. The Pakistan government has earmarked Rs 2 crore for the renovation and preservation of Hindu shrines which is being considered to be a meagre amount.


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