Peshawar: An ancient Sikh temple in Pakistan, which remained non-functional for over 70 years after migration of Sikhs to India during partition, was opened on Wednesday for worship at a special ceremony held here. Minority communities expressed jubilation over opening of the historic temple, Bhai Beba Singh, located at Mohallah Jogiwara at Hashtnagri area.
Chairman of Evacuee Property Trust, Sidiq-ul-Farooq formally opened the temple by unveiling a plaque. Religious rituals were performed by Sikhs soon after its opening. “Opening of historic Sikh temple has portrayed true soft image of Pakistan where minorities are getting equal right to live and worship,” said Haroon Sarabdiyal, All Pakistan Hindu Rights Movement Chairman.
“Government has provided due right to minorities by taking a difficult decision of opening a non-functional temple,” said Sardar Suran Singh, Special Assistant to Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
Member of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parband Committee (PSGPC), Sardar Bishan Singh said opening of temple is a “big favour of government in general and people of Peshawar in particular”.
“It is also good gesture of Muslims that a closed temple remained safe and was not misused or occupied by anyone he said adding that minorities are true Pakistanis who opted for staying here at time of partition,” he said.
Farooq said he allotted a land of 2000 yards at Hassan Abdal to Sikh community for using as Shamshan Ghat(cremation ground). He also appreciated role of KP government in opening of Bhai Beba Singh Gurdwara. He said we have to create an atmosphere of fraternity and brotherhood in our country.
Chairman Evacuee Property Trust Board also announced a donation of Rs half a million for the temple and said his department is working on construction of 1,000 rooms in all the big temples of Pakistan. Sardar Suran Sing, Special Assistant to Chief Minister KP on Minority Affairs on this occasion announced a donation of Rs 3 million for the temple