#parent | #kids | Pakistan demolishes Hanuman temple, Hindu homes in Karachi

Demolition and conversion of minority places of worship is not new in Pakistan. Almost every month there is a new controversy – a temple razed to the ground or converted into a mosque. Rewind to June when Prime Minister Imran Khan wanted to prove his secular credentials and allotted money to build a Krishna temple in Islamabad, but the boundary wall of the temple was demolished within days.

However, on the other side, there have been some noteworthy examples, where Pakistanis have taken the efforts to document their heritage. A few years back, Karachi-based journalist and author Reema Abbasi, painstakingly brought out a well-researched book, “Historic Temples in Pakistan: A Call to Conscience”, with amazing photographs of Pakistani temples.

Once in a rare while, even the government has taken steps to give the temples, and also the minorities, the recognition they deserve. There was much celebration and cheer when the Imran Khan government opened up a historic Hindu temple in Sialkot for worship after 72 years. However, such examples are few and far between for a country where the number of temples has come down from well over 400 to a dozen in barely 70 years.

For the moment, Pakistan seems to be basking in the reflected glory of a new-found and diabolical friend Turkey. Both have made converting minority religions places into mosques a pastime. Turkey has converted two historical churches into mosques while the Pakistanis have demolished two temples during the same time.

Nevertheless, the 73-odd-year old Pakistan might it difficult to shake off a 5,000-year-old history that lies prolifically scattered across the length and breadth of the country.

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