Monday
15 April | 2024

Lahore, Pakistan

Govt announces to restore, preserve Hindu Dharamshala near Peshawar

ETPB Chairman Arshad Fareed says all efforts will be made to restore and preserve worship places, other buildings of religious minorities as cultural heritage

Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), a key department which administers educational, charitable or religious trusts or other evacuee properties left behind by Hindus and Sikhs who migrated to India after the 1947 partition of subcontinent, has decided to restore and preserve a Dharamshala in Swabi as a heritage building.

In a statement, Evacuee Trust Property Board Chairman Arshad Fareed Khan said that all efforts would be made to restore and preserve worship places and other buildings of religious minorities as cultural heritage. An ancient building of Dharamshala – a temporary shelter measuring three and half marla – is located in a dilapidated condition, and near collapse, as per the reports.

ETPB Chairman Arshad Fareed says all efforts will be made to restore and preserve worship places, other buildings of religious minorities as cultural heritage
Photograph show condition of Dharamshala in Swabi

A representative delegation of senior officers visited the site in Swabi district of Pakhtunkhwa province and submitted a report to the board office. As per the report, the centuries-old ancient building can collapse any time due to its condition. It is pertinent to mention here that Dharamshala is consider as a temporary shelter or rest house for ‘spiritual’ pilgrims, as per the tradition of Hinduism.

In the past, dharamshalas were commonly constructed near pilgrimage destinations – often located in remote areas – to give visitors a place to sleep for a night or some nights. Locals believe that the Dharamshala was constructed by the Hindu community in order to provide boarding and lodging facilities to visitors in Swabi – an area with hot and humid summers and mild winters.

‘Dharamshala in Swabi must be a protected heritage building’

Apparently, the photographs show that the Dharamshala in Swabi must be a protected heritage building, as per the senior board officers. A school principal also submitted an application with the local administration that the Dharamshala building can collapse any time and cause damage to nearby buildings besides a possible human loss. In a press statement, ETPB spokesperson Aamir Hashmi declared the social media posts of a Hindu temple in Swabi baseless.

“I assure community members that there is no temple or any worship place in Swabi, but an ancient building of Dharamshala that is in a dilapidated condition,” he said, adding that the ETPB chairman already issued orders to restore and preserve the small Dharamshala in a village area in Swabi. “Our senior officials already visited the site and submitted a comprehensive report regarding the presence of the small building there, he said.

Latest