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Pak SC asks KP govt to hire architect to rebuild Hindu temple

supreme court

Islamabad:  Expressing dissatisfaction over the restoration work of a Hindu temple in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan’s Supreme Court has ordered the provincial government to hire a renowned architect for rebuilding the shrine destroyed by fanatics in 1997.

A three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Jawwad S Khawaja yesterday asked the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa authorities to come up with a plan to rebuild the Shri Paramhans Ji Maharaj’s Samadhi in Teri village of Karak district.

The chief justice said that the order must not be defied and should be implemented at all cost.

The temple has been partially restored, but the court expressed dissatisfaction over it and order Karak Deputy Commissioner (DC) Shoaib Jadoon and provincial Home Secretary Arbab Mohammad Arif to hire an expert architect for proper restoration and renovation.

On April 16, the apex court had ordered the Khyber- Pakhtunkhwa government to restore and rebuild the temple, whose preservation has led to a rift between the minority community and local religious leaders.

During the hearing, the DC informed the court that its earlier order about the restoration of the temple had been carried out and a boundary wall was built around it.

But the court said that the efforts put in by the provincial administration were not enough and proposed construction of a new building instead of just erecting boundary walls.

The surrounding walls will spoil the area, observed the chief justice, recalling how a temple in Shahalmi Market, Lahore, was reconstructed by architect Kamil Khan, who had a clear understanding of architectural heritage and had provided free consultancy to rebuild the temple.

The chief justice said the court could ask the architect to conserve the temple.

The court asked the DC to report the court about the progress made in the restoration work during the next hearing on September 7.

The Hindu shrine was built at a place where Shri Paramhans Ji Maharaj died in 1919 and buried in Teri village.

His followers were regularly visiting the place for worship till 1997 when some Muslim fanatics destroyed thetemple and the land was allegedly occupied by a local influential cleric Mufti Iftikharuddin.

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