In a display of communal harmony, Hindus in Pakistan have been praying for their countrymen and women who are facing the wrath of floods in the Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces, during the holy month of Sawan.
The Punjab province is also affected by the floods but the devastation in the Swat valley and upper regions has drawn international attention.
The Shri Ratneshwar Mahadev Mandir in Karachi, Pakistan, is more than 300 years old. News agency the Dawn, in a report, spoke to Hindus living in Karachi where they said that they prayed to Lord Shiva hoping for some respite for the people affected by the floods. Hindus in the city who have been observing fast in the month of Sawan, like millions of other Hindus globally, ended the month with a large puja where they prayed for Pakistan’s recovery.
The Dawn spoke to Monishka Sharma of Karachi and other Hindu residents who said they visited the historic 300-year-old Shri Ratneshwar Mahadev Mandir in Clifton where Lord Shiva is worshipped and prayed that Pakistan recovers from the climate disaster that it has been facing since the monsoons began.
“We offered special prayers to our Lord Shiva, who controls the sea disasters, to help our brothers and sisters affected by the floods in our country,” Clifton’s Shri Ratneshwar Mahadev Mandir’s head priest was quoted as saying by news agency Dawn.
Shri Ratneshwar Mahadev Mandir is one of the largest temples in Karachi. According to locals, Lord Shiva lived inside the cave over which the temple was built. Founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak is also believed to have meditated there.
A staircase from the temple leads down to the cave and opens up to the Arabian Ocean. Hindus believe that Lord Shiva’s third-eye protects mankind from the wrath of nature.
However, the Hindu devotees also highlighted the growing atrocities against the minority community in Pakistan. Sharma, told Dawn, that she prayed for peace and prosperity as member of her community were lynched or killed over petty issues. She also expressed concern regarding kidnappings of Hindu girls.
Meanwhile, floods have continued to wreak havoc on residents of provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Balochistan leaving more than 33 million people homeless. More than 1,000 people have died and the country’s disaster management body said that the toll reached 1,063 on Monday.
Thousands were also injured. The army has been deployed and several people were airlifted from the flood-affected provinces.
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