By Rafiullah Mandokhail,
ZHOB,(Parliament Times): The district administration formally handed over the centuries-old temple that was being used as a primary school to Hindu community here during a simple but an impressive ceremony.
Khateeb Jama mosque Maulana Allah Dad Kakar was the chief guest, while Deputy Commissioner Taha Saleem chaired the handing-taking over ceremony that held at ‘Mandir School’ formally known as Especial school in the city’s downtown.
Those who attended the ceremony were including ADC Arif Kakar, SP Fahad Khosa, AC Yahya Khan, DSP Ghafoor Mandokhail, SHO Haji Muhammad Zimri, EDO Gul Rehman Mandokhail, DOE Wazir Khan Nasar, DDO Kaleemullah, president GTA Hafiz Usman Mandokhail, Maulana Abdul Majeed Qureshi, Qayyum advocate, Anwer Mandokhail, ADO Human Dynamic Samad Hariphal, GM NCHD Razzaq Kakar, Jamal Mandokhail, Haji Juma Rahim Kakar, Baran Kaliwal, Muhammad Din Kharoti, Molvi Sultan Shah Mandokhail, Fazal Amin Mandokhail, Syed Afzal Shah, Patras Ajaib, Saleem Jan, Arshad Jan, Gaga Singh, Ajmal Awan and journalists. Speaking on the occasion Deputy Commissioner Taha Saleem said that it was auspicious day that gives immense pleasure not only to him but also to the minorities living in Zhob. Now the Hindus would perform their religious rituals and worship in a serene environment. “Preservation of ancient places and making Zhob city a tourist resort is our dream”, deputy commissioner expressed hope. Religious leader Maulana Allah Dad Kakar, who handed over keys of the temple to community leaders, said that upholding minorities’ fundamental rights is the responsibility of an Islamic state. He stressed upon the need for promotion of the religious harmony.
Saleem Jan of Hindu community and Sardar Masih of Christian community welcomed the formal hand over of Mandir to the community. They termed the day as ‘riddance day’ and said their happiness knows no bounds, as the community finally got their historic worship place back following their hectic efforts. “The minorities are enjoying religious freedom in Balochistan. Pashtoon tribes and political parties are loving and having respect for other religions”. They said. SP Fahad Khosa also expressed pleasure over the restoration of Mandir and reiterated his commitment to leave no stone unturned for maintaining peace, prosperity and cohesion among all the communities in the district. EDO Gul Rehman Mandokhail thanked the elected representative and provincial minister Mitha Khan Kakar for his generous contribution towards education sector. President teachers’ union, Hafiz Usman Mandokhail demanded water, shelter and other facilities for the newly-set up school at the old Tehsil office.
Abdul Qayyum advocate of Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami party on the occasion said that Pk-MAP strongly believes in interfaith harmony and complete freedom of religious affairs as it is necessary for lasting peace. “The protection of minorities’ fundamental rights is responsibility of the government,” he said.
Advocate Sabir Mandokhail, Fazal Amin Mandokhail, Molvi Sultan Shah Mandokhail and Samad Hariphal also spoke on the occasion. They thanked Chief Justice Balochistan high court Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail for his revolutionary steps, he has taken for the welfare of masses in Balochistan. It is to be mentioned that the two-story historic temple (Mandir) was built in 18th century by a Hindu contractor Munshi Ram for Hindu worshipers. It is stated to be about 200 years old. During the partition in 1947 the temple was abounded and it was under the federal Auqaf department. For the last thirty years the building was being used as a primary school, where six hundred children from city and rural parts of the district were getting education in ‘temple-turned-school. The forgotten and neglected historic building now presents a gloomy picture. The rooms are crumbling and the walls have developed cracks as no repair and renovation work has been done since long.