Peshawar: The Peshawar High Court’s has ordered the reopening of the 160-year-old Goraknath Temple to allow devotees to worship.
The court also directed the Pakistan Government to take control of the temple that is situated in the centre of the Gor Kattri Archaeological Complex in Peshwar.
It also directed the authorities to ensure adequate security at the temple, the Express Tribune reports.
The court gave the order after hearing a Hindu woman Phool Vatte’s plea, whose husband Pandit Kambhu Ram owned the temple and had pleaded that his land should not be made Waqf property during the partition of the Indian sub-continent.
Vatte’s attorney, Pervez Iqbal, said the owner allowed the police to use the temple and its adjacent building for storing explosives, but had to struggle to regain its possession in 2002.
He said the earlier petitions seeking worship at the temple were rejected by the Peshawar High Court and a civil court.
“Instead, what we did was, we wrote an application to the Supreme Court chief justice, the PHC chief justice and other functionaries which was when the PHC chief justice turned the application into a petition on a suo motu and allowed for worship to be carried out at the temple,” Iqbal said.
A consultant to the Kyber Pakhtunkhwa Archaeological Department, Dr Abdul Samad, said the temple ownership cannot handed over to a private party as it is an archaeological site.