October 6, 2013
Ashwin Shukla Dwitiya, Kaliyug Varsha 5115
AMRITSAR: Pakistan Hindu Council (PHC) has demanded the appointment a Hindu as the chairman of Evacuee Trust Property Board(ETPB) so as to protect Hindu temples and its properties in Pakistan which were being plundered by land sharks on one or the other pretext.
Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), member, National Assembly, Ramesh Kumar Vankwani who is also the founder of PHC told TOI over phone from Islamabad on Sunday that he had raised a demand of appointing Justice (retired)Rana Bhagwan Das as the next chairman of ETPB during a recently-concluded interfaith dialogue in Pakistan.
Bhagwandas had served as Chief Justice of Pakistan in 2005 and in 2006 in absence of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhary. In 2005, Bhagwandas had also visited Amrtisar on a personal tour.
Normally, Pakistani government had been appointing people with armybackground as chairman of ETPB even former ISI Chief Javed Nasir had been heading the ETPB in past. ETPB is entrusted with the task of evacuee properties of minorities after India-Pak partition in 1947.
Sources seeking anonymity told TOI that news of plundering of properties related to Sikh gurudwaras in Pakistan often comes to light due to regular visit of Sikh jathas to Pakistan from India but similar news of properties belonging to Hindu’s were unheard.
Sources told that properties worth crores of rupees had been encroached upon, besides there had not been any development of temples which was the responsibility of ETPB. In past there had been reports of selling of gurudwara properties in Pakistan in connivance with ETPB officials at throwaway prices.
Vankwani said that with a Hindu as chief of ETPB, not only the properties of Hindus but Hindus would also be taken care by ETPB besides development of their religious places.
While extending support to the demand of PHC, president of Pakistan Hindu Sewa Welfare Trust Sanjesh Dhanja told TOI over phone from Karachi that there were hundreds of temples lying in neglect. “There is a dire need to restore these temples to their pristine glory and begin puja and I am of view that a Hindu chairman would fulfil the aspirations of Hindu community of Pakistan,” he said.