The American Sikh Council (ASC) has put in a tremendous amount of effort to highlight that the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara, Kartarpur, Punjab, Pakistan and its surrounding 104 acres remain untouched and absolutely not be turned into a tourist attraction through complete destruction and then modernization by the Pakistan government.
Since December 2018 ASC and its representatives has done the following in trying to safeguard and preserve Guru Baba Nanak Sahib’s 500 year old living legacy:
- Online petition to save Kartarpur Sahib which has garnered over 17,570 signatures so far! https://www.change.org/p/prime-minister-of-pakistan-imran-khan-establish-ecological-heritage-village-at-kartarpur
- Phone calls made to various dignitaries and officials in Pakistan, requesting them to reconsider the type of preservation being implemented currently.
- Letters mailed January 15, 2019; to Prime Minister Imran Khan; General Q. Bajwa, Chief Minister of Punjab, Chair of the ETBP Board, Chair of the Planning and Development Board, Pakistan’s Ambassador in Washington, D.C.
Requested State Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu of East Punjab to send letter to PM Imran Khan.
- Two separate TV interviews by a ASC representative, while in Punjab to highlight the critical issue of preserving the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara and its surrounding as is, in its original current shape.
- Support letters and press releases by the Global Sikh Council (GSC) and the Federation of Sikh Societies of Canada.
- Letters mailed again to PM Imran Khan and other officials March 20, 2019.
- Meeting held on March 14, 2019 with the officials at the Pakistan Embassy, Washington, D.C.
- Meeting held on April 17, 2019 with the Governor of Punjab, Pakistan in Mississauga, Canada
After all the concentrated work that has been put in by ASC representatives, it seems that everything has gone to waste, because the Pakistani authorities have decided to turn a deaf ear to all our pleas and no amount of common sense or logic seems to wake up their conscience. Rather all the sleazy businessmen from the diaspora have their ears and the only thing that is driving this massive erasure of the holy Guru’s legacy is greed.
The Pakistani authorities need to be reminded that Guru Baba Nanak Sahib’s birthday was on April 14 and absolutely not in November, since the current rush to completely destroy and construct the new modern Kartarpur Sahib to meet an arbitrary self-imposed deadline based on the erroneous birth day celebration of Guru Sahib in November 2019.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) in Amritsar, a body which is responsible for the management of gurdwaras, in (East)Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh has not put out a single statement in reference to the preservation of the Kartarpur Sahib (Pakistan), because they have been culpable in the destruction and modernizing of many gurdwaras in East Punjab themselves!
The American Sikh Council (ASC) hoped and prayed that the government of Pakistan would use this opportunity to truly make its mark in the annals of religious history by using a very sensible approach of preserving the five century old religious site instead they seemed to have got sucked into the same pattern as the East Punjab marbleizing brigade.
It will be a travesty that the ASC will not be in a position to promote ‘Kartarpur Sahib’ to all the Sikhs in the diaspora, because no sensible Sikh wishes to spend thousands of dollars to visit a marbleized monstrosity in place of the original simplicity which existed just six months ago at Kartarpur Sahib!
As Vice President of ASC Jasbir Kaur stated, “Constructing on this domain destroys the deep sanctity, the spirit of the sacred site of an independent world faith and any chances of archeological revival of the lost heritage associated with Guru Baba Nanak.”
PM Imran Khan and General Bajwa still have an opportunity to correct this path of destruction and be remembered by every Sikh for saving and preserving the sacred legacy of the founding prophet of the Sikh Faith and not for destroying it. It is still not too late to stop this madness and move all construction away from the original 104 acres of land tilled by Guru Baba Nanak Sahib the prophet who preached honest hard labor, love for humanity and peace.