A group of 250 Hindu pilgrims from India, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States will visit a century-old shrine in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province this week, according to a media source on Thursday. The shrine was vandalized by a radical Islamist party last year.
Hindu pilgrims will pay a visit to the shrine of Paramhans Ji Maharaaj, a saint who died in the province’s Karak area in 1919. The temple was founded in the year 1920.
According to the Dawn newspaper, a group of Hindu pilgrims from India, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States will come to Peshawar on January 1 to visit the Teri Samadhi at the request of the Pakistan Hindu Council (PHC).
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Pakistan Hindu Council (PHC) welcomes Hindu pilgrims to Pakistan
“This is the second time the Council has welcomed Hindu pilgrims from other countries to witness firsthand the existence of a tolerant and heterogeneous society in Pakistan,” Dr. Khan said. The Council has arranged the program in collaboration with Pakistan International Airlines, the report said.
Fifty-four Hindus from India, Canada, Singapore, Australia and Spain had visited the country last month. The group was led by Shri Satguru Ji Maharaaj Ji, the fifth successor of Paramhans Ji Maharaaj.
In December last year, over 1,000 people led by some local clerics belonging to the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) instigated the villagers to demolish the temple and as a result, people led by local seminary students attacked the temple.
On the orders of the Chief Justice of Pakistan, the temple was restored
The apex court also ordered the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial government in October 2021 to recover Rs 33 million (USD 1,94,161) from the culprits involved in vandalizing the century-old shrine.
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Earlier in 1997, the shrine was first attacked and severely damaged, and the PHC head Vankwani had approached the apex court in 2015 seeking help to restore the holy place and restart the annual pilgrimage to the place.
Pakistan Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmad had celebrated Diwali this year at the temple last month to express solidarity with members of the Hindu community and to welcome pilgrims from other parts of the country.