AMRITSAR : Ahead of Shivaratri festival, Pakisitan’s Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) has ordered as many as a dozen idols of Hindu deities from India to install at cluster of historical Hindu temples at Katasraj in Chakwal district of Pakistan.

“I have asked our High Commissioner in New Delhi to procure idols of Hindu deities including Lord Hanuman, Kalit Mata, Lord Shiva etc. from Delhi market” said ETPB chairman Farooq ul Saddiq while talking to TOI over phone from Katasraj on Tuesday.

He also held a meeting with Hindu priests and Hindu politicians who had converged at Katasraj from three provinces of Pakistan Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh.

He informed that Pakistan’s High Commission in New Delhi had assigned the duty to procure the idols from Paharganj which would be brought to Pakistan by Hindu devotees who would be arriving at Katasraj to celebrate Shivaratri on February 11, he said.

And this happened after Pakistan’s Supreme Court in December 2017 had expressed its concern over absence of statues of Lord Rama and Lord Hanuman form Katasraj temples after taking suo moto notice of media reports .

He informed that the aim of ETPB to convene the meeting of prominent Hindu priests and Hindu representatives from three provinces was to take their suggestions for implementation of Hindu Code of religious conduct in Hindu temples.

“We have encouraged local Hindu populace to fearlessly carry out their religious rituals including Havna Yajna at temples ” said Farooq adding that ETPB had appointed a permanent Hindu priest for a salary of around Rs 24000″. In, addition, he informed that to encourage the priest, ETPB had announced another Rs 10000 per month allowance for him.

He also informed about various development works including fencing of holy pond etc. which were carried out by ETPB for the development of historical cluster of Hindu temples.

Meanwhile, Farooq informed that on Monday, ETPB had also finalized a site for the construction of 136 room sarai (inn) at birth place of Guru Nanak Dev at Nankana Sahib. The proposed site was within in the Gurdwara Nankana Sahib complex and the construction would begin in February at the cost of Pakistani Rs 450 million.

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