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Historical hindu temple demolished for commercial complex in Pakistan's Landi Kotal bazaar

The 'Khyber Temple', believed to be located in Landi Kotal Bazaar, Pakistan, has been demolished to make way for a commercial complex. While local journalist Ibrahim Shinwari confirms its existence,

Edited By: Vaidehi Jahagirdar Islamabad Updated on: April 13, 2024 10:08 IST
Pakistan, Hindu temple demolished
Image Source : REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE Historical hindu temple demolished in Pakistan's Landi Kotal bazaar

A historical Hindu temple believed to be located at Pakistan's main Landi Kotal Bazaar has been demolished, and construction for a commercial complex has started at the site. The now demolished 'Khyber Temple', reportedly situated in the border town of Landi Kotal Bazaar in the Khyber district, has been closed since the 1947 India-Pakistan divide, when the original occupants migrated to India. 

Pakistan's leading tribal journalist claims the presence of a temple.

According to a local media report, while officials from various administrative departments denied any knowledge of the existence of the Hindu temple, a leading tribal journalist hailing from the same locality confirms the temple's presence. 

Claiming the presence of a historical temple, leading tribal journalist Ibrahim Shinwari said he heard many anecdotes about the temple from his forefathers, and there's little room for doubt that there was a temple named 'Khyber Temple' in Landi Kotal.

“The temple was located in the centre of the Landi Kotal bazaar, which was closed in 1947 after the local Hindu families migrated to India. It was partially damaged by some clerics and seminarians in 1992 following the demolition of the Babri Masjid at Ayodhya in India,” the journalist said. 

“The archaeology and museums department, police, culture department, and local government were bound by the 2016 antiquity law to protect such sites, including places of worship,” he added. 

Officials deny any knowledge of the existence of the Hindu temple.

Meanwhile, in reply to a question over the temple's existence, Assistant Commissioner Landi Kotal, Muhammad Irshad, said there is no mention of the temple in the official land record of Khyber tribal district.

He added, "The entire land in Landi Kotal Bazaar was owned by the state, and a ‘no objection certificate' has been issued to the builder for the renovation and repair of some old shops in Landi Kotal Bazaar."

Moreover, a Tehsil Municipal Officer (TMO) speaking of the incident said, the local government was authorised to give the go-ahead signal for the construction of all commercial structures in the area only after their maps or drawings were approved and the requisite fees were deposited.

However, he added, the municipal authorities do not have authentic and organised revenue records in Khyber district.

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