A 200-year-old gurdwara in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province, which was being used as a government high school for the last seven decades, has been handed back to the minority Sikh community after restoration by the provincial government.
The Siri Guru Singh Gurdwara on Masjid Road in the centre of Quetta was handed back officially to the Sikh community on Wednesday to use it for prayers and religious ceremonies, authorities said.
The gurdwara was used as a government high school for girls for the last 73 years.
Denesh Kumar, the provincial parliamentary secretary and advisor to the Balochistan Chief Minister on Minority Affairs, said that the gurdwara has been restored as a place of worship for the Sikh community.
Kumar said the value of the 14,000 square-foot gurdwara was in billions of rupees at the current market value due to its central location, but the Balochistan government restored its status as a place of worship for the Sikh community.
He said that the students studying in the government high school were being supported in getting admission to nearby schools.
Sardar Jasbeer Singh, the Chairman of the Sikh Community Committee in Balochistan, said that the restoration of the gurdwara as a place of worship was a gift from the government.
He said that around 2,000 Sikh families live in different parts of Balochistan and the ancient gurdwara had a special significance for them.
Earlier this year, the government also handed over a 200-year old temple to the Hindu community in Zhob in the province.
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