Save Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara from the modernizing brigade!

Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara – As of November 2018

Kartarpur Sahib in the last 30 days has seen intense construction activity based on the master plan that the Pakistan government has promised to implement as part of the ‘Kartarpur Corridor’ agreement with its neighboring country on the East.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has extended an olive branch to Sikhs in East Punjab and the diaspora, to break the ice and change the vitiated atmosphere of the past. All governments talk of peace but rarely do politicians act upon realistic initiatives which can bring about long term change and amity. PM Imran Khan must be thanked again for his sagacity to open the doors to Kartarpur Sahib and other historic Sikh gurdwaras across Pakistan with more ease.

Now that there seems to be sea change in the relgio-political atmosphere, Sikh businessmen with deep pockets from the UK,( ) US and other places seem to be descending upon Kartarpur Sahib in droves hoping to cash in on the influx of visiting Sikhs from everywhere. This is the last thing that the Sikhs need!

It is understandable that the Pakistan government is trying to find various cooperative ways to move the needle forward to promote religious tourism but it is critical, that in all the excitement the most important element should not be lost; i.e., that the complete preservation of Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara complex and the surrounding environment needs to be kept in its pristine state.

Sikhs want to see, touch and feel the holy ground as it was 500 years ago so that it touches the soul with indescribable feelings of multiple emotions and recharges the Sikh spirit.

That simply cannot happen with a modernized upgraded version of the five centuries old deeply religious site which tugs at the heart of every Sikh.

Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara – as of January 2019

There are nearly 200 historic gurdwaras currently in Pakistan and most in need of serious repair and many are either abandoned and/or being used as offices/homes by squatters. Most of the gurdwaras are owned by the Pakistan Evacuee Trust Property Board and operated by the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandak Committee.

In the recent days well-wishers of the ‘panth’ have started an online petition, which has already garnered over 8,800 signatures but we have to continue to get as many more as possible.

Sikhs everywhere can do the following:

  1. Keep up the support going by signing the above petition.
  2. Have every organization across the diaspora send a request to the Prime Minister of Pakistan via registered letter(s) – His Excellency Imran Khan, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Islamabad, Pakistan, and the email is . The petition contains the overall suggestions that can be used to send the letter(s).

Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara – trees being uprooted inside the complex January 25, 2019

All the historic Gurdwaras are being torn down and gaudy marble laced buildings are replacing and completely destroying precious living history of the Sikh Faith with the original physical structures, the trees, the immediate landscape is being purposely destroyed by the ‘powers to be’ with the help of their sinister proxies, who are primarily ‘kar-sewa gangs’ prevalent in East Punjab. Even the SGPC and DGPC, is hand in glove in destroying any vestiges of old history relating to the Sikh Gurus and other important historical figures, all in the name of saving and beautifying these historic gurdwaras.

Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara – more trees being destroyed as of January 25, 2019

It will be a travesty if the same heart-breaking ultra large marbleized complexes are constructed in West Punjab, because it goes against the grain of everything that Guru Baba Nanak stood for in his lifetime – namely, simplicity!

Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara – the master plan for the near future

The American Sikh Council (ASC) sincerely appeals and requests the Pakistan government to make sure that the entire Kartarpur Gurdwara complex is ‘maintained in its present state’, without adding anything new and/or changing the original architecture in any shape or form. Any changes and/or additions to accommodate visitors from lodging to restrooms and more must be done at a distance, i.e., completely outside the village of Kartarpur, and outside the 100 plus acres of land/forest areas around the river Ravi that belonged to Guru Sahibji, while retaining as much of its originality as possible, to be preserved for future generations.

ASC reiterates that Sikhs everywhere yearn to visit the Kartarpur Sahib and see the fields that our wondrous ‘Guru’ tilled with his own hands, the place where he lived, the trees he sat under and feel and touch their forehead on the same dusty soil that our ‘Guru’ walked on!

The American Sikh Council (ASC) again thanks the Prime Minister Khan and his government for opening the Kartarpur corridor and putting in so much effort in planning this unique peacebuilding concept.

The American Sikh Council (ASC) strongly supports every effort to maintain and preserve the original integrity of all the nearly 200 historic Gurdwaras, including the Kartapur Sahib complex across Pakistan.

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