In what exemplifies both courage and communal harmony two Muslim Pakistanis moved the Peshawar High Court against the ‘secret’ demolition of a Hindu temple.
Muhibur Rehman and Waqif Saleem, in their appeal to the court, have requested that the control of the ancient Hindu temple, believed to be 150 years old, be placed under the archaeology department. They allege that the government is not taking any action despite their appeal to protect Hindu places of worship in the city.
The ruins of Panj Tirath, one of the many Hindu temples that dot Peshawar’s landscape. RIAZ AHMED/EXPRESS
In their appeal, the petitioners wrote that the government had earlier sealed the temple and arrested two tenants after reports of alleged changes being made to the temple were widely reported.
Quoting the petitioners, the Dawn reports, “those elements in connivance with the evacuee trust properties department had resumed the temple’s demolition to construct a plaza there.”
Among those the petition names as respondents are local police, Peshawar Deputy Commissioner, the provincial Home Secretary and the archaeology director.
Peshawar is the capital city of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It is home to a significant number of Hindu population. People from minority communities claim that their condition Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has always been better than in other provinces of Pakistan.