A Hindu temple in Pakistan destroyed by a mob last week will be rebuilt using provincial government funds, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa information minister said Friday.
Around 1,500 people descended on the temple — in a remote village of the northeast province — after protesting against renovations being made to an adjoining building owned by a Hindu group.
They used sledgehammers to knock down walls before setting the building ablaze.
“We regret the damage caused by the attack,” said Kamran Bangash, the provincial information minister.
“The chief minister has ordered reconstruction of the temple and adjoining house,” he told AFP.
Construction will start as soon as possible with the support of the Hindu community, he said, adding security would be provided at the site.
Pakistan’s top court has ordered authorities to submit a report on the temple’s destruction.
Another temple, which was destroyed in similar circumstances in 1997 and then rebuilt, is located some 160 kilometers (100 miles) southeast of Peshawar, the provincial capital.
While no Hindus live in the area, devotees often visit the temple and its shrine to pay homage to the Hindu saint Shri Paramhans, who died there before the 1947 partition of India that gave birth to Pakistan.
District police chief Irfanullah Khan told AFP around 45 people had been detained in connection with the incident — including a local cleric, Maulana Sharif, who is accused of inciting the mob.
Khan added police are also looking for Maulana Mirza Aqeem, the district leader of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F), one of Pakistan’s largest Islamist parties.