Hyderabad: A video from a Telugu TV news claiming that a Shiva temple is going to be reopened in Sialkot, Pakistan, 72 years after it was closed, has gone viral on social media. It also claims that Pakistan Prime Minster Imran Khan will participate in the reopening of the temple, closed after Partition, to control COVID-19 pandemic.
The original post was made in April 2020.
The claim is MISLEADING.
The Shiva temple in Sialkot was reopened after several years in July 2019.
According to reports, Pakistan opened a 1,000-year-old Hindu temple in the eastern city of Sialkot for "worship" for the first time since Partition on the demand of the local Hindu community. The Shawala Teja Singh temple, located in the city's congested Dhaarowal locality, some 100-km from Lahore, is more than 1,000 years old, according to the book 'History of Sialkot' by the late Rashid Niaz.
Shawala Teja Singh Temple in Dhaarowal was built by Sardar Teja Singh and was closed during Partition. The Hindus of Sialkot stopped visiting the temple after a mob damaged it in 1992 while protesting the demolition of the Babri Masjid in India, SAMAA TV reported. The step was taken on the direction of Prime Minister Imran Khan, said the report. But there are no reports of Pakistani PM visiting the temple.
From the reports, it is clear that the Pakistani PM ordered the restoration of the ancient temple. According to officials, the complete restoration would take up to five years, for which UNESCO and the Karachi-based Aga Khan Foundation had been taken on board.
Hence, the claim that an ancient Shiva temple in Pakistan has been reopened in 2020 or 2021 is MISLEADING. The temple reopened in July 2019.