PESHWAR: Pakistani authorities have set up a joint committee to decide on the handing over of an over 100-year-old gurdwara in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province to the Evacuee Property Trust Board (EPTB) for its restoration and proper preservation.
The team constituted by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial government will visit Sri Guru Singh Sabha gurdwara in Mansehra district before finalising its report and submitting it to the authorities, an official said here on Tuesday.
Built in early 1900s, the Sri Guru Singh Sabha gurdwara, which is known as an architectural masterpiece, is currently housing a public library and is in the possession of Mansehra's Town Municipal Administration (TMA) since 1999.
The EPTB authorities have now demanded in writing from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial government its handing over of the gurdwara to the board for its proper preservation. The EPTB is a statutory board that manages religious properties and shrines of Hindus and Sikhs who had migrated to India following the Partition.
The committee comprising Deputy Secretary of local council board Zahir Khan and Mansehra tehsil Administrator Basharat Khan was formed following the EPTB's request, the official said.
According to Pakistan-based Sikh historian Shahid Shabbir, the Guru Granth Sahib -- the holy religious scripture of Sikhism -- was never installed in this gurdwara after Partition. "However, the paalki (palanquin) for Guru Granth Sahib Prakash (installation ceremony for the religious book) is still intact in its original glory," he said.