Pakistani Sikhs open temple after 73 years amid fears of violence

In this Monday, April 25, 2016 photo, a Pakistani policeman stands guard outside the 300-year-old gurdwara or place of worship for Pakistan's Sikh minority, in Peshawar. While Sikhs celebrated the opening of their gurdwara, its neighbors all of whom are Muslim told The Associated Press that they either didn't want them there or were worried that an attack by militants was certain to happen. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)
In this Monday, April 25, 2016 photo, a Pakistani policeman stands guard outside the 300-year-old gurdwara or place of worship for Pakistan’s Sikh minority, in Peshawar. While Sikhs celebrated the opening of their gurdwara, its neighbors all of whom are Muslim told The Associated Press that they either didn’t want them there or were worried that an attack by militants was certain to happen. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)

The newly-opened gurdwara has a 24-hour Sikh Security detail as well as police guards, but their Muslim neighbors believe an attack is inevitable.

Ia Pakistani policeman stands guard outside the 300-year-old gurdwara in Peshawar. While Sikhs celebrated the opening of their gurdwara, its neighbors all of whom are Muslim told The Associated Press that they either didn’t want them there or were worried that an attack by militants was certain to happen.

An armed policeman stood guard outside the 300-year-old Sikh temple,  in northwest Pakistan. He kept a watchful eye on everyone who passed him on the narrow street, looking for a suspicious gesture, or a bulge beneath the clothes that hints at a hidden gun or a bomb.

Earlier this month, the gurdwara in Peshawar’s crowded Old City opened its doors to worshippers for the first time in 73 years. The reopening was celebrated by Pakistan’s tiny Sikh minority, but security is a constant concern.

On Friday, a Sikh leader and provincial lawmaker was shot and killed outside his home in a remote area in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province, some 140 kilometers (86 miles) from Peshawar. The murder of Sardar Suran Singh devastated the Sikh community and heightened their fears of militant attacks.

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