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Thousand of Sikh yatrees (pilgrims) arriving by rail at the Wagah border.—AFP File Photo

PESHAWAR: Over 150-year old historical temple of Baba Karam Singh was demolished overnight by the land mafia in Mardan, DawnNews reported on Thursday.

The 35 feet tall national heritage was turned into debris in the native town of Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ameer Haider Hoti. A well and some old constructions around the temple were also demolished by the land grabbers, said the report.

The temple of Baba Karam Singh, built in 1846, is considered one of the holy places for the people belonging to Sikh religion.

The Sikh community of the province has demanded reconstruction of the temple and also protection to the other sacred places for them.

Comments (68) Closed

Ali Gowher Mar 29, 2012 08:38pm
People who destroyed Sikh temple in Mardan are evils. Do these religious fanatics realize how many Mosques Muslims have all arround the world in non-Islamic countries and how will they feel if those Mosques are destroyed by non-Muslims. I think people who took part in destroying the Temple are real Kafirs as they did not follow the teachings of Islam.
Imtiaz Faruqui Mar 29, 2012 10:02pm
Our Goverment should rebuilt the Temple and apologize to the people of Sikh religon, this will show them our greatness and it will be the way to earn respect from the whole world.
Kautiliya Mar 29, 2012 10:17pm
The Kalistanis should look at Pakistan.
Muezzin Qureshi Mar 29, 2012 10:18pm
This is very unfortunate and disturbing on multiple levels. Quite apart from the theological debate about respect for places of worship of other religions and the further hate this will instill against the self-proclaimed defenders of Islam in Pakistan, there is the economic impact of this act on a poor country. Whilst death due to starvation is common and the other evils of poverty are rampant in Pakistan, we allow criminals to destroy and jeopardize a very valuable source of income for the region, namely Sikh visitors from India. The federal government and the government of Khybe Pakhtunkhwa should be taking steps to attract sikh visitors from the rest of the world too, and not just for economic reasons but also because it is the right thing to do. Instead we choose to silently watch as these places are destroyed and Sikhs are made to feel unwelcome and in fact threatened.
Qureshi Mar 29, 2012 11:58pm
Yes they r real kafir even being muslim they do not follow allahs commond for others to live in peace
Taatya Singh Mar 30, 2012 12:19am
One mosque in Ayodhya was such a big deal for Muslims. Think about it.
Davinder Mar 30, 2012 12:30am
This is very sad, destroying religious places. Athorities should and must take action against culprits. We had a very old mosque destoyed by heavy rains years back. People prom our village, mostly Sikhs, re-build that mosque for muslims from our village. That brings religious harmony but destroying regligious places will leads us to what king of world?
Agha Ata Mar 30, 2012 12:53am
Sorry. It is not possible to pay Sikh Community for the damages of their Gurduwara. If the government does that, Ahmadies and Shias, and Hindus will demand for the demages of their places of worship as well. And there will be no end to it. Pakistan is not a rich country like America. A wrong precedent should not be set. I hope you understand government's position. Thank you
Agha Ata Mar 30, 2012 12:58am
Sorry. It is not possible to pay Sikh Community for the damages of their Gurduwara. If the government does that, Ahmadies and Shias, and Hindus will demand for the demages of their places of worship as well. And there will be no end to it. Pakistan is not a rich country like America. A wrong precedent should not be set. I hope you understand government's position. Thank you!
Qamer Mar 30, 2012 01:36am
It is absolutely possible to rebuild that Gurduwara and all other religious sites destroyed by land mafia or the others. Pakistan Government is not a poor entity, they have plenty of dough to go around. Pakistani authorities are responsible to safeguard all the religious sites.
t.Habib Mar 30, 2012 02:36am
Then we should re-build. It is shameful and ignorant for us to destroy places of worship for those of us who follow religions other than Islam. As a Muslim, I am embarrassed at this display of ignorance and insensitivity on our part. We call ourselves a progressive nation; but are we? This is no better than tearing down centuries old statues of Buddha in Afghanistan. Stop and consider how enraged and injured we feel when others degrade our religion and burn our Qurans. Two wrongs do not make a right. At minimum, we owe the Sikhs an official apology, take steps and measures to ensure that this does not happen on Pakistani soil again and make amends through reconstruction.
Munir A Saeed Mar 30, 2012 03:10am
Every Gurudawara, a Hindu temple and a church is as sacred as any mosque. If no, then why Pakistanis protested the demolition of Babri Mosque- not in use since 1949, and we mourn this day every year on dec 6. We Pakistanis need to learn to respect other religions and their worship places, if we expect them to do the same for us. No religion is less than the other.
Mustafa Mar 30, 2012 03:13am
Pakistan should implement and impose death penalty by firing squad on all those who destroy places of worship of any religions. Pakistan should re-build the Sikh temple to win confidence of Sikh community and uphold the teachings of Islam to protect its minorities.
Sav khan Mar 30, 2012 04:41am
One mosque in ayodha was a big deal just as much as this is a big deal.its a disgraceful act which is being condemned by vast majority of many Hindus or Sikhs condemned the ayodha episode?think about that
Tariq Mar 30, 2012 04:57am
Sikh temple must be constructed back.All other sacred places regardless of any religion must be safeguarded.The white color in our flag is representation of minorities. People like Agha need to understand and respect if they are Pakistani.
Muhammad Abdullah Mar 30, 2012 06:35am
Shameful it is. You do bad to someone's religious and sacred place and they do the same with you. It's about time that we should respect other religions as respecting other religions is part of our religion too. It is not something to be proud off but its shameful.
Vinod Mar 30, 2012 08:26am
Pakistan has come long way. First temples then they encourages destruction of bamiyan Buddha and now this gurdwaras. Reconstruct it before the the fire spreads.
Imraan Mehmood Mar 30, 2012 01:26pm
Nothing to do with Religion, It's the Land Mafia attempting to seize Land for Commercial Purposes... Most Pakistanis are peace Loving, As in every other country the Mafia gives the Nation a bad name.
Sarah Mar 30, 2012 02:20pm
By seeing the comments made by the muslim brothers of Pakistan, I realize that indeed not every pakistani is a religious fanatic.Most of them are sympathetic towards the sikhs. Really Pakistan is a great country
Feroz Mar 30, 2012 04:15pm
Land grabbers exist inn all countries but never heard of them razing Religious places to ground. Are there any examples of plunder and destruction of Mosques by land mafia in KP or elsewhere in Pakistan.
Akram Mar 30, 2012 04:15pm
A disgrace to us Pakistanis that people can behave like this, the culprits should be publicly thrashed. the people who demolished it, should pay for its reconstruction, or have their homes forfeit. that will teach them a lesson.
puri - Ludhiana ( In Mar 30, 2012 04:28pm
The episode only shows that irrespective of religion or country, there are people who are more concerned about generating ill gotten wealth and have no emotions for the feelings and sentiments of others whether of their own religion or of another religion.
hegde Mar 30, 2012 04:59pm
what is happening to Pakistan? Hindus, sikhs, Ahmedia, and even Shia are called kafirs and killed. is this what Jinnah dreamed? Did you not feel pain when some people destroyed a unused mosque in Ayodhya?
Agha Ata Mar 30, 2012 06:55pm
What I said was a sarcastic comment meant to point out the inablity of the government to safeguard life and property of minorities.
abc Mar 30, 2012 07:49pm
have u ever heard anyone knocking off a mosque in Pakistan as land grabbing. this structure was an archaelogical monumemt, as we speak. anyway, not a surprising article at all, and it deserves to be at the bottom of the page in a newspaper like Dawn. And I'm sure in more mainstream newspapers, it wont find any referance at all.
Alakh Singh Mar 30, 2012 08:04pm
When land Mafia destroy Babari Maszid then muslims created so much problem but now no response to others holy place. This is a lesson for Indian Muslims how to remain quite when holy site destroyed, such as babari maszid.
Sultan Mar 30, 2012 08:05pm
Dawn likes to show its secular face again and again for the simple issues which occur in India everyday and Muslims are suffering unnoticed by Indian Media, learn something from Indian media and also show some responsibility for the country which is protecting you from massacre and ethnic cleansing.
Agnivesh Mar 30, 2012 08:17pm
Don't talk like that to justify a despicable deed. No such thing happens in India; on the contrary Muslims are now a pampered lot.
Mohsin Mar 30, 2012 08:55pm
I really can’t believe that the minds of some people are really twisted. A true muslim will never act this way. He will give his life to defend innocents and provide protection to anyone who needs it. This is a shameful act and should be condemned by all the citizens of Pakistan. My message to culprits: For God sake, stop thinking through your guts and use your heart and soul for once. You guys have become barbaric and ruthless. Please change yourself before it’s too late. As a Pakistani, I apologize with my Sikh brothers and sisters for this big sad back and assure that almost all of Pakistani citizens feel their pain so please don’t get dishearten…May God Bless you.
salma Mar 30, 2012 09:22pm
Muslims are just pampered for no good by Hindu Politicians and for the sake of votes. Muslims are more than 20% but represent only 1.5% in all Government sector jobs and less than 1% in non government jobs such a pathetic situation of the community which ruled for 500 years. More than 80% Muslims are below poverty line and its not because they are uneducated but its India's silent conspiracy. The Bollywood does not represent real India's Muslims status. But India's Media is silent and Times of India newspaper don't even allow comments as the Dawn does, Dawn newspaper should reveal the truth rather pampering minorities who are just 4%.
sharukh Mar 30, 2012 09:24pm
Muslims are more than 20% but represent only 1.5% in all Government sector jobs and less than 1% in non government jobs such a pathetic situation of the community which ruled for 500 years. More than 80% Muslims are below poverty line and its not because they are uneducated but its India's silent conspiracy. The Bollywood does not represent real India's Muslims status. But India's Media is silent and Times of India newspaper don't even allow comments as the Dawn does, Dawn newspaper should reveal the truth rather pampering minorities who are just 4%.
Sunil Mar 30, 2012 11:19pm
Correction: So called Babri-Masjid is not a mosque; it by all means is a "disputed site" and this was a disputed site even before 1947. As a matter of fact, no muslim has prayed at that site for last 200 years. Read any reliable source. This issue was deliberately exploited by both Congress and BJP-RSS. Congress- by labeling the site as 'Mosque' and as a consequence rallying muslims against BJP. And BJP benefited by this scam through the hardened Hindu votes. Either way, destruction of a functioning Sikh temple should not be compared with the destruction of a non-functioning 'disputed religious place.
dharmveer Mar 30, 2012 11:58pm
such things are happen in pakistan and other islamic countries, not in india.
Quaid e Azam Mar 31, 2012 12:24am
Sultan, Pakistan was built for us Muslims to be free from prosecution, not for us to freely prosecute others. Please go back and study our country's founding declaration, and basics of our Islam. Talking out of ignorance is not going to help this country progress in this world.
Arisha G Mar 31, 2012 12:26am
All those comments from 'across the border' or from people from that region from around the world, please do take a moment to note that there are A LOT of comments from Pakistani Muslims condemning this deplorable act. Doesn't mean that if there aren't 1001 comments online condemning this, it automatically means NO ONE cares.
jamshed kharian-pak Mar 31, 2012 01:07am
Islamic Republic of Pakistan a Pak-Indo Muslim Empire the Successful Muslim Empires Always respectd ethnic, religious Minorities Like Kulfay-Rashdine Early Islamic Empire, Muslim Spain-Pourtugal, Suleiman Qanooni Ousmani-Ottoman, Mogul Akbar Azam, We in Pakistan also need to respect all our Miniorties Brothers/Sisters Long Live Islamic Republic Of All Pakistanis
abc Mar 31, 2012 01:09am
I totally agree with Mr. Muezzin Qureshi. Pakistan has no money to build an archaeological monument. No country in the world does that. yet, they have enough money to create ruckes, if someone makes a cartoon, or if there is any turbulance in distant palestine and so forth. Absolutely right, Mr. Qureshi. great going. I and almost all of the land of the pure, Pakistan supports u whole heartedly.
Sanjay Mar 31, 2012 01:09am
That's a ridiculous claim.. have you ever even been to India?? Have you looked at any of the population numbers from India? The government spends billions of rupees each year keeping them happy with things like Haj subsidies, minority reservations, etc.
Rajiv Mar 31, 2012 01:20am
why don't you call all your muslim brothers to Pakistan we will be more than glad to take all the hindus & sirdar brothers
kamaljit Singh Mar 31, 2012 01:28am
Shukriya Akram sahib.
kamaljit Singh Mar 31, 2012 01:24am
May be because the old masjid was under dispute for more than 50 years. but that is no justification for that as is in this there is no dispute. Demolition anything without authority is disgrace to the law of the land.
Irfan Mar 31, 2012 01:35am
Those days are not that far away when you will see even mosques are razed for the greed of money...just look at it now..what stopping Muslims killing other Muslims? We have lost all morality, pure shame.
Sad Mar 31, 2012 01:38am
Just for information, there are some land mafia people who take demolish mosques for their personal interest...But i strongly condemned this act of evil... We should respect all religion and live in peace..
noone Mar 31, 2012 03:54am
there must have been something in the temple of great value for it to be secretly destroyed
Chittar Mar 31, 2012 05:02am
Read a bit more before you comment. Many Hindu citizens and organizations condemned it. Just after the demolition, many Hindu citizens including retired army generals posted an ad on the major newspapers condemning the act and asking the citizens to maintain calm and ponder. Also, answer this before you churn out more arguments on the Babri case. If in Pakistan (or Saudi), a scared place (on the pedestal of Medina or Mecca) were demolished by some invaders whose population happen to be in a minority now, what would be the fate of that structure? Would you folks even give the minorities an opportunity to explain why the original sacred (or allegedly sacred) was demolished? If you guys could reflect this deeply, you would have some respect for many Hindus who though they disagree with the Muslims agree that the unused structure should have not been demolished.
oz Mar 31, 2012 05:17am
lets see Babari mosque ayudhia...Golden temple masacare....Gujrat Muslim ethnic cleansing...Christian churches razed...and forced conversions....ummm and the biggest of all Killing men and raping women everyday in indian occupied kashmir...but thats all in INDIA , lets not talk about that Strictly speaking shame on the land grabbers who demolished sikh temple and surrounding muslim houses for their greed.
BRR Mar 31, 2012 06:38am
When human life has no value in Pakistan, and generally in S.Asia, what value does one place on an old temple? Life itself is not precious, history starts after Islam came to Sindh (nothing else existed before apparently).
Gajanand Thakur Mar 31, 2012 07:52am
You will get the answer by looking at the present condition of BJP. The sin of destroying A Mosque lies on their head and they are paying for it. Whatever done must be undone, if it is evil, otherwise it will visit you sooner or later. Think twice before razing any structure of GOD. It will raze the razer to ground,in course of time. You can see it all around yourself.
Anup Mar 31, 2012 08:12am
More than you can count. Every self-respecting Indian whether Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Jain or Buddhist raised his voice. That's why the matter reached the high court. What did you do when all those in-use Hindu and Jain temples in Pakistan were demolished (after the closed down Babri Masjid incident)?
Khalid Mar 31, 2012 10:12am
I am surprised at your comment. No religion on earth allows insult to any other religion and its worship/holy places. These kind of acts cannot be justified at all. Based on your logic, how would you feel if now sikhs destroy some mosques in Indian Punjab?
RK Mar 31, 2012 12:00pm
Since Pakistan is at the vanguard of protesting blasphemy, shouldn't they treat this as blasphemy and impose the death penalty on the criminals involved?
Jaya Kumar Mar 31, 2012 04:14pm
U ask how many,hindus condeming it were more than the total population of pakistan.You r amongst the illinformed pakistanis.As far as religion is concerned,i am proud to be a hindu & also proud to be an indian where more than 200million muslims live.
ALI Mar 31, 2012 05:28pm
There is no justification of demolished of this temple.e land grabbers, religious extremists. It should be reconstruct without any excuse and delay. It is the responsibility of Khaber Pukhtonkhwa provisional government to rebuild it. Pakistan is having sectarian problem i.e sunni againt shia, shia againt sunni....We Pakistanis ourselves are worried because of these these religious extremists in our nation . But let me say this is not a picture of the whole nation, only few extremists wants to impose their rule of law. We shouldn't look what Indian government did with Babri Masjid, if we follow the same path the there is no difference between good and bad.
sat Mar 31, 2012 06:49pm
hi, no sikh ever destro any tempal or masjit in punjab , india. or any other placce in world.we help others to built their worship places.come to punjab, india .and see by yourself. we have two elected lagislater muslim . they are elected by sikhs and and others. pls dont blame this act to majority of muslims in pk, punjab.punish this mad land mufia. we sikh dont need govt. help for money. just start building . money will come. just let us know.also start building guru nanak univercity and medical colleage, in nankana sahib. money will por in from around need to blame others. punish that mad man. thks
Alamgir Mar 31, 2012 07:17pm
Unrecoverable mistake done by few Muslim (Which is not confirmed whether they are muslims or not). By the way, the man who loves money doesn’t keep interest in religion. All Sikhs are respectable to us but all muslims must not be blamed for this act. It is the responsibility of Govt. and security agencies to secure the minorities culture, religion etc.
Manoj Mar 31, 2012 10:08pm
If Pakistan survives in future,(which I pray ,it should) .... The credit will go to the institutions like dawn... ...the kind of situation ,the are facing in Pakistan...and the balanced, true approach they are maintaining is really commendable...they are doing an excellent job..
Rizi Mar 31, 2012 11:02pm
There are many cases where these sick land robbers backed by politicians even demolished the MUSLIM graveyards to grab land. However it's not an excuse, the incident is really sad and there is no way to undo the feelings of Sikh community. Culprit along with the politicians must be brought to justice.
Syed Mar 31, 2012 11:43pm
Muslims are still considered minority and are treated like them but what happened in Murdan was very shamefull for the people of Pakistan. Remember, Pakistan is a failed state run by our currupt politicians grabbing every penny they find. They have no time to worry about people or holy places etc. Their main goal is to rape this country and run. I am surprised they have not blamed foreign hands in this incident yet. So watchout India. You will be blamed in a few days which is the only excuse we have no a days to cover the asses of our worthless police in this country.
Syed Apr 01, 2012 12:05am
Dear Alakh. Please do not blame the Muslim in your country for anything. You guys have gone through painful times and have become a better nation but we are still living in the stone age. There is no law and no justice in this country. You can destroy any temple, mosque, church anytime in this country. We are very unfortunate nation. Every political party who rules this country comes with only one mission which is to LOOT Ley Pakistan. Please do not hate the people of Pakistan or the Muslims of India because it is not our intention to destroy someone's temple or church. Blame the chore leaders of this country who are not doing anything to protect the people or the holy places but busy looting the country.
Jamshed Apr 01, 2012 01:02am
Protecting minorities and their places of worship is the responsibility of the people in power and thus those responsible should be brought to justice.
Nadeem Shah Apr 01, 2012 03:40am
Please dont lie, Pakistan pleaded with the Taliban not to destroy the bamiyan buddhas, you should visit the Lahore Museum and the Taxila museum and be shocked to find out the rich Gandhara history and how Pakistan has saved, recovered and protected priceless Budhhas and the stupas all over KPK. In India, Muslims are treated worse than third class.
Nadeem Shah Apr 01, 2012 03:45am
Just because Hindus destroy Muslim mosques does not mean Pakistani people are the same. This is the act of land mafia and not ordinary people. The ordinary people of Pakistan are very decent and you never hear them destroy other peoples religious property except the idiot Taliban or those led by fascist Islamic parties like the LET etc. The destruction of this Sikh temple is a disgrace to Pakistan, and I wish to apoligzie to my sikh brethern, the govt of KPK should immediately announce a new temple be built on the same land and those guilty of this crime be brought to justice.
Singh (Aus) Apr 01, 2012 03:36am
Babri Masjid destruction was done by brainwashed innocent common people to fulufill the selfish political game to gather Hindu votes by criminal politicians of BJP and Congress. BJP backed by RSS and VHP and Bajrang Dal are communal parties which is not different from Congress party which calls it self secular party. While BJP was leading the mob the Congress did nothing to stop...because of fear of loosing Criminals and greedy have no religion. They are oppertunists.
Nadeem S Apr 01, 2012 03:48am
Your comments are really shameful and embaressing to me as a fellow Pakistani, you have no decency and I am ashamed to call myself a Pakistani because of people like you. If the govt does not have money, then they have no right to rule, the cost can come from selling Zardaris palaces overseas or from the coffers of the same religious idiots who destroy peoples property, dont worry what goes around comes around, one day you will burn from the same fire and then demand help.
Shakky Apr 01, 2012 08:23am
One wonders why Hoti is keeping so quiet about this, instead of going after the land mafia and holding them accountable. It boggles the mind that a 150 year old temple can be demolished with such impunity by a gang of crooks. The government of Pakistan owes an apology to the Sikh community and needs to reconstruct the temple.
Jamil Apr 01, 2012 08:32am
There is no justification for such acts. My sympathy goes to all the Sikhs community. I have sikh frined and they are nice bunch of guys. But I would request to people to not make it religius because these land grabs have even taken over Muslim cemetaries in Pakistan. So in my view they are just concerned with monies and nothing else. I hope the temple is quickly built. I hope hte community comes togather to built the temple because I don't see the currupt government doing anything. All they will do is make the situation worst. I hope Imran Khan wins the next election.
sumit kalra Jun 06, 2012 08:04am
i agree with u sumit kalra India
Chak May 26, 2012 07:52pm
Hmmm, another one bites the dust. what else to expect. Atleast no woman was kidnapped. the def of 'normal' seems to be missing in some people out here.