AMIDST the reports that rituals in many Hindu temples in Pakistan, including famous Prahlad temple and Sun temple in Multan, have been suspended due to non-availability of priests, the international wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad said it can provide priests if the Pakistan Government gives visas and security to them.
It is to be noted the Pakistan’s Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Hamid Saeed Kazmi during his recent visit to India had said that since all the important Hindu temples were facing an acute shortage of priests, the Government of Pakistan had no option but to suspend religious functions in the temple. Apart from Prahlad and Sun temple, some shrines in the Sindhu Valley are also hit by the priest crunch. Prahlad temple is an important religious place for Hindus because it is believed that the festival of Holi started there. The United Nations has offered to adopt Sun temple and Sindhu Valley temples as world heritage sites but the Pakistan Government has rejected the proposal.
“Everyone knows the state of Hindus in Pakistan. The VHP needs assurance from the Pakistan Government before it sends priests to the neighbouring country,” said incharge of international affairs of VHP Swami Vigyananand. He said the VHP sends priests overseas only on requests either from the Government or from the community. “The VHP is concerned about the plight of Hindus in Pakistan and want to do some thing for them,” he added. It is not the first time that the voice has been raised to protect Hindu identity in Pakistan. Earlier this year, Baluchistan’s Provincial Assembly, having two Hindu law makers, passed a resolution against construction of a dam that would have inundated Hinglas Bhavani temple. The VHP had also reaised voice against the construction of the dam and had even given a memorandum to Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.