ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has denied reports that the Krishna Mandir in Lahore had been demolished to pave the way for the construction of a shopping mall.

Minister for Religious Affairs Ejazul Haq rejected BJP leader L.K. Advani's statement on the demolition and challenged his remarks that minorities in Pakistan did not have religious freedom.

"Perfect condition"

``The Krishna Mandir is in perfect condition. I invite L.K. Advani to visit Lahore and pray at the temple," Daily Times quoted Mr. Haq as telling reporters on Thursday during a visit to the temple.

He said Rs. 7,00,000 was spent on the renovation of the temple a few months ago, adding that such statements by Indian leaders could affect the ongoing peace process between the two countries.

Supports statement

Krishna Mandir supervisor Pandit Kashi Ram, who was with the minister, supported Mr. Haq's statement and said the government was spending money on the temple's renovation.

He added that the government gave Rs. 10,000 for holy festivals including Diwali, Dusshera and Holi observed at the temple.

Evacuee Property Trust Board (EPTB) chairman Lt Gen (Retd.) Zulfikar Ali Khan also said the temple had not been demolished.