A 200-year-old Gurdwara in Quetta has been restored and handed over to the Sikh community by the Balochistan Government so they can continue their religious practices there.
According to reports, the historical Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha on Masjid Road in central Quetta had been converted into a government school for girls after the Partition.
Provincial Parliamentary Secretary for Minority Affairs Dhanesh Kumar said that the historic place of worship covers an area of 14,000 square feet and is worth billions of rupees because of its location. He lauded the government’s decision to “hand it over to Sikh brothers instead of using the building for any other purpose”.
Chairman of the Sikh community in Balochistan Sardar Jasbeer Singh, expressed his happiness at the restoration and said that it was a “gift from the government to the Sikh community” living in the province.
“Sikh community of the province is very pleased that our ancient Gurdwara has been handed over to the Sikh community by the Government of Pakistan and the Balochistan High Court after 73 years and now we are able to continue our religious practice,” said Singh. “The Sikh community from all over Pakistan and the rest of the world appreciated this initiative.”
Jasbir added that there were 10-15 more historical gurdwaras in Balochistan which are still occupied.
“We are hopeful that the government will focus on opening these closed shrines in shrines in Balochistan.”
Other Sikhs present on the occasion of the reopening also expressed their happiness on this development. According to details, there are approximately 2,000 Sikh families living in Quetta, Dera Bugti, Osta Muhammad and Pashtun areas of the province.
Meanwhile, the students of the school have been allowed to take admission in a nearby girls’ school so that their education is not affected by this.
Earlier in February this year, the Balochistan government handed over a 200-year-old temple to the minority Hindu community in district Zhob.