Indian Hindu pilgrims have appreciated excellent arrangements made at Katas Raj Temple and thanked the government of Pakistan.
A special ceremony was organized at the historic Katas Raj Temple by Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), Government of Pakistan in honor of Indian Hindu pilgrims arrived in Pakistan to participate in the religious rituals at the historic Katas Raj Temple near Chakwal which is considered to be the oldest and holiest place of the Hindu religion in Pakistan.
Additional Secretary, Shrines, ETPB, Pakistan Rana Shahid Saleem was chief guest on the occasion while Deputy Secretary, ETPB, Syed Faraz Abbas, Assistant Commissioner, Choa Saidan Shah and other officers concerned were present.
The group leader of the Hindu pilgrims, Pandits and others thanked the government of Pakistan for excellent arrangements and facilities provided to the pilgrims. They also expressed gratitude for the security and other arrangements made by the district administration of Chakwal, police and thanked Deputy Commissioner, District Police Officer and Assistant Commissioner Choa Saidan Shah.
Addressing the participants of the ceremony, Additional Secretary, ETPB said that the government on the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan was making all-out efforts for protection of the rights of all the minorities including Hindu community.
He said that the government was giving special attention to improve and protect religious and worship places of the minorities. Additional Secretary Shrines said that under a project, the work was being completed to renovate the temples on 165 Kanals land of Katas Raj and to ensure provision of all possible facilities to the Hindu pilgrims. He informed that work on under construction rooms would be accelerated to provide best accommodation facilities to Hindu pilgrims, adding, under a project, more facilities were provided at Katas Raj at a cost of Rs 51 million.
The Additional Secretary informed that the government had also launched a program to provide educational stipends to the deserving male and female Hindu students. Special gifts were also presented to the Hindu pilgrims at the end of the ceremony.
On the occasion, the group leader of Indian Hindu pilgrims Sajeeve Kumar said that Pakistan is no less than heaven for minorities. He thanked the ETPB, which took various steps for the renovation of the historic heritage Katas Raj temples and protection of Gurdwaras. Another Indian Hindu leader Rakesh Arora said “We love the soil of Pakistan”. He also thanked the Pakistan government and the Trust, which made excellent arrangements for transportation, accommodation and medical care of the Hindu pilgrims.
On the occasion, Dr. Munawar Chand and Ravinder Kumar were also present. The Trust officials and local Hindu leaders also participated in the ceremony. The Hindu yatris upon their arrival were given a very warm welcome and provided all possible facilities to perform their religious rituals.
Members of Hindu community of Pakistan also visited the temple on Sunday. The delegation after performing their religious rituals left the historic Katas Raj temple on Monday.