Lahore, May 27: The Guru Nanak Palace, built in the 17th century in the then undivided India, has been demolished by hooligans hand -in-glove with vested groups in Pakistan's Narowal. All walls of the four-storey historic structure has been brought down. The incident has drawn flak towards the Pakistani government from Sikhs settled in the nation as well as abroad.
Guru Nanak Palace: Facts to Know About The Historic Building in Pakistan
The four-century-old structure at a village in Narowal city — about 100 km from provincial capital Lahore — had 16 rooms with each of them having at least three delicate doors and at least four ventilators.
Its construction comprised old bricks, sand, clay and limestone. The rooms were constructed with large broad walls with cupboards in them that had wooden doors with flowers carved on them.
All the rooms were airy and their walls had small lamp enclosures in them. Expensive diyar wood beams of various sizes were used in the roofs, it said.
Authorities are clueless about its 'owner'. A local resident Muhammad Aslam said: "This old building is called the Palace of Baba Guru Nanak and we have named it Mahalan. A number of Sikhs from across the world, including India, used to visit this building".
Once a six-member delegation, including a woman carrying a book with information about the historical building, had come from Canada. The delegation was elated upon visiting the site as if they had found a treasure, he said.
Auqaf Department Acted in Connivance With Vandals?
The group of locals not only partially demolished the structure allegedly with the connivance of Auqaf department officials but also sold its precious windows, doors and ventilators, the Pakistani media reported. Notably, the Auqaf department comes under the central Wakf Council and looks after the properties of religious importance of the minorities.
"The auqaf department was informed about the demolition of the building by some influential persons, but no officer or official took any action or even reached here.
"Three storeys of the building have already been demolished and new houses constructed. The influentials have demolished the building with the connivance of the auqaf department and sold its costly windows, doors, ventilators and wood," another local Muhammad Ashraf said. The people in the area have demanded Prime Minister Imran Khan to take action against those responsible.
(With PTI inputs)