Commercial project threatens Pakistan’s historic temple

A Hindu temple in Pakistan is under threat by the construction of a skyscraper. While the builders say the project is beneficial for Karachi’s denizens, the minority Hindus see it as another assault on their faith.

For 150 years, the Shri Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple has been the center of spirituality and festivity for the Hindus living in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi. The underground temple is also known for its architectural brilliance. Each year, a grand festival at the temple attracts more than 25,000 pilgrims from all over the country.

Just a stone’s throw away from this historic temple, property tycoon Malik Riaz is constructing the country’s tallest building. The Bahria Town commercial plaza is going to be 853-feet tall with more than 59 floors. Recently, to ease the flow of traffic near the project, the developers have started building a flyover and an underpass.

H. K. Rajput, a Karachi-based Hindu, told Deutsche Welle that at the start of the skyscraper’s construction in 2008, the Hindu worshipers had no idea about the threats the building would pose to the temple…